There is a 7.30 am inspection due at Southwell ahead of todays junps card. Temperatures were due to rise but it may not come in time for the meeting to get the green light.
The Laura Morgan yard have been quiet in recent weeks but, if racing goes ahead, I hope to see Percussion (12.25) end their barren spell in the opening 2m 4f handicap chase.
The selection finished runner over todays C&D on his chase debut back in July when he jumped soundly but let the winner – who has since followed up – get first run on him. The gelding has yet to race on anything other than good ground and his ability to handle softer conditions would have to be taken on trust.
Adam Wedge keeps the ride and a 3lbs rise for his latest start looks fair. There was 9/4 about first thing on Monday but he is into 6/4 with Boylesports at the time of posting 7.30pm Monday.
Market leader Cawthorne Lad won at Stratford from a 9lbs lower mark, but I feel the main danger will be the ex-Nicky Henderson trained Bardd who ran a good race under todays 7lbs conditional when second at Warwick last time.
There is a valuable handicap chase over the minimum trip, and I am loath to desert Light N Strike who did us a big favour at Plumpton last time under Jack Wildman who again takes off a valuable 10lbs. An 8lbs rise for his recent 19L romp looks fair.
The vote goes to Heartbreak Kid (1.25) who finished third at Sedgefield over further having travelled strongly and jumped well. The winner ran an excellent race at Newcastle on Saturday before his stamina gave way and the selection was dropped a pound for his seasonal debut.
Four of the five runners hold realistic chances but the Donald McCain 6-y-old gets the vote. The recommendation was 10/3 with William Hill on Monday but is just 5/2 as Coronation Street was starting.
Calidad is likely to make a bold bid from the front in the Maiden Hurdle, but I hope it is a big day for Laura Morgan and Here We Have It (2.30) had bits of form last term which suggests he should be more than capable of landing the prize.
The selection – 11/4 with 10Bet – blew the cobwebs away when claimer ridden at Hexham at the beginning of the month when he failed to get home over an additional half-mile. His 3L second to Tommy’s Oscar at Newcastle on soft ground back in December is the best form on offer although it should be noted that he wore cheekpieces on that occasion and the headgear is left off this afternoon.
Sky Power (2.15) has proved frustrating for connections with just a 12f fibresand success to his name, but he has run a number of good races in defeat since switching to Ralph Beckett and he gets the vote with Rossa Ryan taking over in the saddle for the first time following the parting of the waves between King Power Racing and Silvestre De Sousa.
The selection – 5/4 from 6/4 with William Hill – can lead but he is drawn out in stall five and Alba Rose is likely to go forward for Mark Johnston from the plum draw in stall one. The filly did not get the run of the race at Wolverhampton last time but was still only beaten a length and remains open to further improvement after just six career starts.