Southwell preview: Dursey has Sound chance
Dursey Sound has been given a massive chance by the assessor and and looks the one to beat in the 2m 4f handicap chase at Southwell this evening (18.20) now returned to the scene of his last success.
The Jonjo O’Neill-trained gelding scored over course and distance nine months when easily beating Tindaro by two lengths off a mark of 130.
Dursey Sound went on to finish an excellent second of 12 to Mart Lane in a Listed handicap chase at Market Rasen off 138, and was put up to 141 after that run.
The seven-year-old has failed to shine in six subsequent starts, but that has resulted in his mark tumbling and he now gets into this off 130 – the same as when last successful.
It gives the JP McManus-owned son of Milan a big chance at the weights in what is a weak class 3 contest, and another plus is that the stable is in good form and boasts a healthy strike rate at the track.
O’Neill has saddle five winners from his last 12 runners, and been successful with just over 23 per cent of his raiders at the venue in the past 12 months.
Bennachie is a warm favourite to complete the hat-trick in the 2m 4f handicap hurdle (20.20), but the well-treated Polstar looks decent value to lower his colours in the hands of Richard Johnson.
The Harry Whittington-trained gelding showed improve form when scoring twice last spring, easily landing a 2m 1f novice handicap hurdle by 2 1/2 lengths off a mark of 105 on the last occasion.
Polstar looked sure to win more races judged on the manner of that success, but after being put up to 113 his form tailed off.
The six-year-old has failed to trouble the judge in seven subsequent outings, but his handicap mark has plummeted as a result and the son of Poliglote now gets into this off just 99.
That is 6lb lower than when last successful, and gives Polstar a big chance at the weights if bouncing back to anything like his best.
The booking of Johnson to do the steering also looks a big positive given that he was successful on his sole previous ride for the stable, and Polstar can make the most of the 14lb he receives from Bennachie to get back to winning ways.
17.50: In The Rough
18.20: Dursey Sound (NAP)
18.50: Midnight Shot
19.50: Element Quartet
20.20: Polstar (NB)
20.50: Repeat The Feat