1.45 Southwell – Carbutt’s Ridge
Carbutt’s Ridge won with authority last time out, and it is quite surprising that Karl Burke’s 3 year old gelding has not been made favourite for a follow up over course and distance. Granita is the ‘sexy’ horse, making her handicap debut with the first time headgear, but she has plenty to prove and we are going for the proven form.
The Karl Burke yard are some of the shrewdest operators around and when the money is down, bettors should listen. His son of Alfred Noble didn’t show too much in his first starts, but he was heavily supported into favouritism last time out over 8 furlongs at Southwell and duly justified that market confidence, recording a victory by a margin just shy of 4 lengths. Part of that reason for success might have been the removal of all headgear, a variety of which had been tested in previous starts. He has a tendency to start slowly, so may well trade bigger in running, but should be finishing strongly. Dougie Costello keeps the ride and off just a 7lb higher mark, the horse looks to have a fantastic chance of following up, at generous odds of +300 .
Granita ran a decent race on debut at Windsor, but then disappointed on subsequent two starts. Has been off for nearly 3 months and sports the first time hood. Could be well handicapped on first run, but at the odds, she has to prove something.
3.30 Southwell – Billy Bond
Billy Bond may have been beaten by market rival Limerick Lord 40 days ago, but Richard Fahey’s 4 year old gelding appears to have improved dramatically based on his 13 length demolition job last time out. He is the market leader and appears to have formed a good bond with improving female jockey Sammy Jo Bell, who takes off a valuable 3lbs.
Billy Bond was becoming frustrating and was 0/16 before winning so decisively last time out. Something had clearly clicked and the son of Monsieur Bond travelled kindly through the race, before striding clear in the last couple of furlongs. Now the gelding has got his head in front, confidence should be sky high and he will be difficult to beat.
Limerick Lord was stepping up in trip when beating Billy Bond narrowly last time out and that victory was a little unexpected based on his long odds. Has to prove race fitness, but should run his race if the absence doesn’t have an effect.
Tips Summary (21st January)
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