Southwell and Kempton previews: Double chance for Loughnane
David Metcalf | February 10, 2016
Trainer Mark Loughnane has his team in red-hot form at present and looks to hold leading claims of landing a double on today’s card at Southwell with Basingstoke and Viva Verglas.
Basingstoke makes his debut for Loughnane in the 7f handicap (16.25), having returned to form when runner-up over course and distance last month.
The seven-year-old kept on well to be beaten four lengths by Stun Gun having not been ideally placed, and it was an effort which suggested his time was near.
Although Basingstoke has been raised 2lb for that effort, he remains dangerously well-treated off a mark of 52 on the pick of his form.
The gelding was a dual winner at the track in 2014 when under the care of Simon Hodgson, and the last of those victories came off a rating of 64.
That suggests Basingstoke has major claims off 12lb lower, and if building on his latest effort the son of Elusive City is going to be very hard to beat.
Viva Verglas can cash-in on class drop
Viva Verglas runs in the 6f handicap that opens proceedings (13.10), and looks weighted to run a huge race now dropped in class.
The gelding was in terrific form in 2013 when trained by David Barron and winning four times, with the last of those successes coming in a class 2 contest at Wolverhampton off a mark of 94.
Although Viva Verglas has failed to get his head in front since, he has run well to make the frame on numerous occasions.
They include two runs over course and distance, when a short-head second to Guishan in a class 3 contest off 81 and runner-up to Ace Master off the same rating last January.
Viva Verglas is now able to race off just 69, 25lb lower than when last successful, and drops down into class 5 company for the first time in his career.
It makes him a big player on the pick of his form now returned to a track which clearly suits.
13.10: Viva Verglas (NB)
13.40: Pass The Time
14.45: Royal Holiday
15.20: Mystic Blaze
15.55: Bionic Indian
Time Square ticks all the right boxes at Kempton
Time Square has an excellent record at Kempton and can take advantage of a drop in the weights to further enhance it with victory in the 1m 2f handicap on this evenings card at the Sunbury-on-Thames venue (17.25).
The Tony Carroll trained gelding is a five-time winner at the track, with the last of those successes coming 14 months ago where he beat Understory by a neck off a mark of 58.
Time Square got put up to 63 for that victory but is now is now able to race off a reduced rating of just 50.
That is 8lb lower than when last successful, and the lowest rating the eight-year-old has run off since February 2013.
It gives Time Square major claims from a handicapping perspective, and the son of Westerner comes into the contest on the back of an eye-catching run when third at Chelmsford.
Judged on that effort Time Square is returning to form, and the booking of Adam Kirby to do the steering suggests connections mean business.
Kirby has rode Time Square to victory in June 2013, and is now reunited with the veteran for the first time in 20 months.
Secret Insider poised to follow-up
Secret Insider made a mockery of her opening handicap mark when scoring last time out and can make light of a rise in the weights to follow-up in the 7f handicap that closes proceedings (19.55).
The Hugo Palmer trained filly had just three starts as a juvenile last year, and caught the eye in the second of those when sixth of 14 to La Rioja in a decent maiden at Newbury.
Secret Insider kept on nicely under a hands and heels ride to be nearest at the finish and be beaten just over nine lengths, and the form of the race has worked out well.
The winner is a useful sort who has scored since and is now rated 110, the third home Spennithorne has won twice and is now rated 87, and Alamode who finished fourth is now rated 102.
That gave the form a strong look and suggested that the assessor had taken a huge chance in allotting Secret Insider an opening handicap mark of just 68, and she duly took advantage when opening her account at Chelmsford last month.
Secret Insider still looked green, and came from off the pace before showing smart turn of foot to score with far more in hand than the winning margin of 1 1/4 length suggests.
It was a most taking performance, and a 6lb rise in the weights is unlikely to be enough to stop the daughter of Elusive Quality going in again.
16.55: Imjin River
17.25: Time Square (NAP)
17.55: Princess Cookie
18.25: Ventura Falcon
18.55: Schoolboy Error
19.25: Franco’s Secret
19.55: Secret Insider (NB)