4:10 Bookmakers.co.uk Free Bets Handicap Hurdle (Class 5, 4yo+, 15 runners, 2m 4f 62y)
This is looking very much a wide open race, however there are a few standouts to consider, these including Dothraki Raider and Good Man Hughie. The former certainly favours this sort of ground, a major reason for his absence since winning at Fakenham in October. Good Man Hughie was a winner on heavy ground at Lingfield in January and despite having a 6lb higher mark should feature well with the more favourable surface this afternoon.
Our attention is more focused on Caroline Bailey-trained Early Retirement, the gelding looking set to grab his first victory at Warwick two starts ago but ultimately finishing runner-up on his handicap debut. His below-par performance when finishing eighth out of a field of thirteen at Towcester in his last outing can be attributed to heavy ground and he should cope admirably with today’s conditions. Indeed his stable have enjoyed some notable success in recent weeks with four winners from nine runners over the past ten days.
One shouldn’t ignore Uncle Percy who has thus far returned modest performances over hurdles but gave the impression in his previous outing that he could be capable of much better. Certainly one to keep an eye open for.
4:40 Compare Bookmakers At Bookmakers.co.uk Mares’ Standard NH Flat Race (Class 6, 4-6yo, 14 runners, Amateur and Conditionals, 1m 7f 153y)
The closing race of today’s Southwell meeting features amateur and conditional riders and as such we are limited as regards form on this bumper. That isn’t to say that betting is limited and there are certainly a few options to consider, although one should use the market as a guide for those looking to have a punt. With this in mind, we’ll be following Seelateraligator given that the Skelton stable have had a few decent types in this particular sphere. She showed a certain amount of promise on her debut when finishing second in a bumper at Market Rasen in April last year although failed to build on this in her subsequent two outings. It is hard to know what to expect from her this afternoon and it will certainly be interesting to see what backing she has on the market.
4:10 – Early Retirement at 11/2 with William Hill
4:40 – Seelateraligator at 11/2 with BetVictor