Southwell preview: Lucky Mark handicapped to strike
David Metcalf | December 8, 2015
Lucky Mark looks decent value take advantage of a drop in the weights and land the 5f handicap on today’s card at Southwell (15.00).
The John Balding trained gelding has a good record at the venue, having won twice and been placed five times from 16 starts.
In the first of those successes 13 months ago over 6f, Lucky Mark showed a good attitude to dig deep and beat Speightown’s Kid by a short-head off a mark of 57.
The six-year-old went on to score again over over 6f two starts later by 1 1 3/4 lengths off 60, and has since finished in the frame twice at the track off a rating of 65.
Lucky Mark is now able to race off 59, 1lb lower than when last successful, and that gives him major claims from a handicapping perspective.
The son of Moss Vale also comes into the contest on the back of a promising return to action at this venue over 6f when showing plenty of pace to track the leaders until weakening a furlong from hone to finish eighth of 11 to Coiste Bodhar.
That was Lucky Mark’s first run for 70 days and should have blown away the cobwebs and put him spot on for this, and the drop back to 5f should not inconvenience in what is likely to be a strongly run race.
It’s All A Game in top form ahead of 7f handicap
In the 7f handicap (13.00), It’s All A Game looks to hold outstanding claims of enhancing his excellent record at the track.
The gelding has won three times and been placed once in nine starts at the venue, with the last of those successes coming 13 months ago off a mark of 55 when trained by Richard Guest.
It’s All A Game failed to trouble the judge in his next six starts, but hinted that his time was near again when an eye-catching fifth of 13 to Roger Thorpe over 1m at this venue on his first start for Nigel Tinkler.
After being denied a clear run three from home, the four-year-old stayed on strongly inside the last to be beaten 5 1/2 lengths.
It was a most promising run following 162 days on the sidelines, and it’s All A Game has since been dropped 2lb to a mark of 50.
That is 5lb lower than when last successful and makes It’s All A Game look weighted to take all the beating on the pick of his form.
12.00: Southern Seas
12.30: Always Welcome
13.00: It’s All A Game (NB)
14.00: Big Storm Coming
14.30: Ancient Cross
15.00: Lucky Mark (NAP)
15.30: Serenity Now
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