Wednesday Tips: Five noteworthy horses at Southwell

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Wednesday Tips: Five noteworthy horses at Southwell

Tom Chilman has five horses to keep an eye on at Southwell including the 9/1 shot Zoran in the 8.10pm and an interesting debutant; Watch live on Sky Sports Racing


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The returning Scrum Diddly would have been an interesting runner in this small-field novice handicap even before taking into account his trainer’s outstanding record at Southwell. But the fact that Harry Derham can boast five winners from his first six runners at the Nottinghamshire track in his debut season at the helm – for an incredible strike rate of 83.3 per cent – makes the six-year-old of even greater interest here.

A two-time winner over hurdles for then trainer (now assistant) Oliver Sherwood, Scrum Diddly was well supported ahead of his first chase start at Newbury (2m7½f) in November but never really stood much of a chance up against the likes of Inch House and Theatre Man. However, on his next start at Ascot (3m), the Malinas gelding made subsequent Ultima Handicap Chase winner Chianti Classico pull out all the stops to record his second chase success en route to Cheltenham Festival glory, with less than a length separating the pair at the line.

A relatively-quick turnaround for another Class 3 novice handicap, this time at Doncaster (3m), may have been the reason behind his tired-looking third back in December, but he will likely prove a tougher proposition now following a five-month break and a return to Class 4 company.


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A competitive handicap chase on paper, in which a case can be made for each of the seven runners, but with the distinct possibility of a better round of jumping to come following his debut success over fences, as well as for his new yard, Lipa K could be the answer.

The six-year-old was already beginning to tire over 2m3f at Haydock in December when taking a tumble at the last hurdle on his final start for Evan Williams, and despite managing to get his head in front at the first time of asking for new connections over 2m1½f at Bangor last month, there were clear signs that the petrol gauge was starting to flash red inside the final furlong.

As a result, this drop back to just shy of two miles looks a sensible move, especially with an extra 6lb to shoulder after last month’s success, and if Henry Brooke’s mount is able to find a bit more rhythm to his fencing, he looks to have the talent to make it two-from-two at this level for Oliver Greenall and Josh Guerriero.

Sir Mark Prescott

Image: Sir Mark Prescott


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Not a difficult runner to highlight on a National Hunt card at Southwell, but Sir Mark Prescott’s four-year-old has an interesting profile aside from the shrewd yard to which he’s associated. The Walk In The Park gelding is closely related to the talented Sir Erec – who finished third in the 2018 Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup behind Stradivarius before winning twice over hurdles at Leopardstown (2m) for Joseph O’Brien, prior to his untimely demise in the 2019 Triumph Hurdle – as well as a two more winners on the Flat.

Sean Bowen represents a strong jockey booking for a yard that have enjoyed a fair few successes in this sphere down the years, while opposition for this 2m event looks reasonably thin on the ground, with Rebecca Menzies once-raced Masterkey potentially the biggest danger away from the other four debutants. A market check, as always with these contests, is strongly advised.


8.10 Get The Inside Track With Novices’ Limited Handicap Hurdle

Both Jaxonne and Knacker Trapper were impressive winners during the last 10 days, the latter in particular when winning by some 31 lengths over course and distance – with Andrew Crook’s charge also notably escaping a penalty here for that facile success – but with that pair likely to take up a large chunk of the market, there’s every chance Emma Lavelle’s Zoran will be available at a far bigger price.

The seven-year-old has managed just one win in 12 starts over obstacles, with that victory coming at Worcester (2m4f) last summer on his second try over fences for his current yard, but there was plenty to like about his recent five-race winter campaign on the all-weather. Promising efforts at Kempton, the first in particular when only just collared close home, and Lingfield suggest there is still plenty of ability to work with, while the stable has been in good form since the start of the new season.


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Having strongly hinted that a step up to three miles would suit with an eye-catching second over 2m5½f at Exeter back in November, Call Me Arthur finally gets the chance to prove his worth over further following another agonising runner-up result last month. The venue on that occasion was Ffos Las (2m4f), where the five-year-old only just left it too late again, this time under the strong urgings of Sam Twiston-Davies, eventually failing by a head.

The downside is that Tom Lacey’s runner now has a 3lb rise in the weights to overcome, but his straight-forward running style and persistent attitude strongly indicate this extended three miles will play to his strengths, whilst the drying ground may even help his cause further. Despite the numbers, this doesn’t look overly competitive, and supporters could be in for an exciting finish if Stan Sheppard has his mount anywhere near the lead approaching the final few furlongs.

Watch all the action from Southwell live on Sky Sports Racing.

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