Southwell Preview: Katie Gale can blow away rivals
Trainer Mick Appleby does tremendously well with his runners at Southwell and Katie Gale looks weighted to provide him with another winner in the 1m 4f handicap there today (2.30).
The mare comes into the contest seeking a hat-trick having scored by a head at Kempton on her final start for Tim Pitt before bolting up over 2m at this venue on debut for Appleby.
Katie Gale romped to a six length success in the latter and had the field strung out like washing.
The daughter of Shirocco looks to have got away lightly with a 6lb rise in the weights for that romp, and the drop back to 1m 4f should not inconvenience given how powerfully she travelled throughout the contest.
Although Katie Gale does have an absence of 229 days top overcome, that should not be a problem given connections and her last success came after a similar lay-off.
A current mark of 61 could seriously underestimate the five-year-old’s ability, and off bottom weight of 8st 12lb Katie Gale is going to be tough to beat in hands of Andrew Mullen.
In the 6f handicap (3.3), Oriental Relation is a fascinating contender now reunited with jockey Graham Lee.
The James Given trained gelding has notched all three of his career successes on the all-weather surface, including a 5f contest at this venue.
The four-year-old was last successful at Kempton 12 months ago when holding on gamely to score by 3/4 of a length off a mark of 81 over today’s trip and is now able to race off 4lb lower.
That gives Oriental Relation a big chance from a handicapping perspective, and the son of Tagula comes into the contest on the back of two solid efforts to finish second and fourth at this venue.
However, what really catches the eye is that connections have now decided to put Lee back in the plate for the first time in eight runs.
He was on board when Oriental Relation was last successful and has partnered him to two of his three successes.
The fact that he is now called upon to do the steering again at a time when Oriental Relation is hitting form having dropped to a handy mark suggests a huge run is expected.
1.55: Josie’s Dream
2.30: Katie Gale (NAP)
3.35: Oriental Relation (NB)
4.05: Red Unico
4.40: Penalty Scorer