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Southwell Preview: Precision weighted to Strike

Precision Strike is potentially thrown in at the weights in the 2m 4f handicap hurdle at Southwell today (3.40) and is strongly fancied to take advantage and land the spoils.

The Richard Guest trained gelding has has just five starts over the obstacles and managed to make the frame on just one occasion.

The four-year-old was rated 90 when pulled-up in a handicap hurdle at Doncaster on his last start 12 months ago, and is now able to race off just 81 having shown improved form on the level this year.

The son of Multiplex has won six times on the flat to earn a rating off 77 in that sphere, and that makes him incredibly well handicapped if able to translate that improvement to the obstacles.

Matripajo shaped with bags of promise when runner-up on his debut over fences and looks to have been found a great chance to go one better in the 3m handicap chase (1.35).

The Jonjo O’Neill trained gelding showed little over hurdles, but is bred to be a chaser and looked ahead of his mark when staying on well to go down by 3 1/2 lengths to Trinella Minella at Ffos Las over 2m 5f.

The son of Westerner, who is a half-brother to Gold Cup winner War Of Attrition, looks sure to be suited by the step up in trip judged by that effort and also now gets fitted with the cheekpieces for the first time.

With further improvement assured, and the services of Richie McLernon in the saddle, Matripajo is going to be very tough to beat.

Elsewhere on the card trainer Charlie Longsdon holds leading claims of landing both novice hurdle contests courtesy of A Vos Gardes and Simply The West.

The former runs in the 2.40 and looked a smart prospect when landing back-to-back bumper successes at Bangor and Ascot last season.

The four-year-old clearly has a huge engine and has reportedly been schooling in terrific style at home.

If that is the case, then A Vos Gardes should be capable of winning this before going on to better things.

Simply The West posted a cracking effort when runner-up on hurdling debut and looks a worthy favourite to land the 3.10.

The former Irish point winner looked all over the winner before getting tired late on and beaten three lengths by Rolling Maul at Carlisle, and the pair pulled 34 lengths clear of the third home to give the form a strong look.

The five-year-old is sure to strip much fitter for that outing, and should be well up to winning a race of this nature judged on that effort.

Selections:
12.30: No Through Road
1.00: Jewellery
1.35: Matripajo (NB)
2.05: Debt To Society
2.40: A Vos Gardes
3.10: Simply The West
3.40: Precision Strike (NAP)