1.40 Southwell – Westwood Hoe
Westwood Hoe has improved significantly in his last few runs and he has very strong claims of making it a hat trick of successes. At odds of +250 , he represents decent value in what is a good, competitive race.
Tony Coyle has a really genuine horse on his hands. With a record of 4/10 with a further 3 places, the owners have a fun animal their side. He has won his last two starts, scoring in impressive fashion on his penultimate start, before following that up with a narrow victory over today’s course and distance. Not everything went right that day, but he still managed to get his head in front, which augers well for the future. Owing to the narrow margin of that success last time out, the son of Oasis Dream has gone up just 2lbs and looks well treated.
Certificate is the chief market rival and Roger Varian’s runner won cosily last time out. That win was at Lingfield and the son of Pivotal sported the first time visor, suggesting he hadn’t been concentrating in previous runs. Is unproven at Southwell and there has to be question marks as to whether the headgear has the same effect this time around, so is passed over.
2.30 Lingfield – Ornate
The Conditions Stakes at Lingfield has some okay prize money, so it is disappointing that just three horses have turned up. The quality of the field is good however, and the odds on favourite Ornate, carries a lofty rating of 110. A progressive sprinter, he is proven on the all-weather, and in receipt of 3lbs from main market rival Gracious John, really should be successful.
Ornate was second on debut over 6 furlongs, and followed that up second time out at Ripon over the minimum trip, disposing of his inferior opposition by an easy 5 lengths. Ripon is notoriously a sharp track, and it showed that William Haggas’ runner possesses a tonne of toe. He really made his mark when finishing second in Group 2 company at Doncaster, and the son of Bahamian Bounty’s official rating was raised from 99 to 110. Did disappoint slightly last time out at Wolverhampton when an odds on favourite, but that was on the back of a lay-off, and presumably he should be straighter this time around.
Gracious John is the main rival and he has been a very progressive runner for David Evans. An uncomplicated front runner, he should provide a target to aim at. Main concern is that the horse has mainly raced over further, or on testing going, and whether he has the requisite turn of foot when things quicken at Lingfield’s sharp downhill course, remains to be seen.
Tips Summary (5th January)
2.30 Lingfield – Ornate – -149
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