Southwell Preview: Golden chance for Ingot
Trainer Caroline Bailey has a superb strike-rate at Southwell, and Gold Ingot can further enhance it with victory in the 2m 4f handicap chase there today (12.45).
The Northamptonshire-based handler has been successful with just under 41 per cent of her runners at the venue in the past 12 months (9 winners and 4 placed from 22 runners) and, in Gold Ingot, has an unexposed chaser, who looks on a potentially lenient handicap mark.
This seven-year-old was a winning hurdler for Alan King before joining Bailey, and also ran very well to finish runner-up to the useful Vicente in a handicap hurdle at Wincanton back in March off a rating of 118.
The son of Best Of The Bests races in this contest off 3lb lower, having posted a highly promising reappearance effort at Doncaster last month when chasing home the well-handicapped Saints And Sinners at Doncaster.
Gold Ingot kept on well to be beaten by 4 1/2 lengths, and the pair pulled 10 lengths clear of the third home to give the form a solid look.
It was a run which suggested Gold Ingot should soon be opening his account over the larger obstacles and, off an unchanged mark of 115, this looks a good opportunity to do just that.
In the 3m handicap hurdle (1.50), The Road Ahead looks the one to beat now eased in grade and fitted with the visor for the first time.
Trained by Peter Bowen, this mare responded well to the fitting of cheekpieces when opening her account over hurdles in good style in a class 4 contest at Aintree on her seasonal reappearance off a mark of 98, and backed that up with a solid second at the same venue off 104.
The seven-year-old was then far from disgraced last time out at the Merseyside venue when sixth of 16 to Parish Business off 107 in a class 3 contest.
The Road Ahead now drops back into class 4 company off 2lb lower, and taking jockey Sean Bowen’s 7lb claim into account is on the same mark as when last successful.
That gives the daughter of Grape Tree Road every chance from a handicapping perspective, especially if the change of headgear has the desired effect.
Arthur Mc Bride makes his handicap debut in the 2m 4f hurdle contest (2.50) and could well have got in lightly.
This gelding had some useful bumper form to his name, including when a close up fourth of 13 to Tea For Two at Wincanton where he finished 1 1/2 lengths in front of Junction Fourteen, who is now rated 136 over hurdles.
That makes Arthur Mc Bride’s opening mark of 95 look exploitable in what is a weak-looking class 5 contest and, although the Fergal O’Brien trained five-year-old has yet to trouble the judge in three starts over the obstacles, it would be no surprise to seem him come into his own now tackling handicaps.
12.15: Typical Oscar
12.45: Gold Ingot (NAP)
1.15: The Tourard Man
1.50: The Road Ahead (NB)
2.20: Some Buckle
2.50: Arthur Mc Bride
3.20: North Country Boy