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Southwell preview: Alco Sivola the ace in the pack

David Metcalf | October 22, 2015

Alco Sivola was a big eye-catcher last time out and can take advantage of what looks a handy mark to open his account in the 2m 4f handicap hurdle on today’s card at Southwell (15.35).

The gelding has only had five starts, and shaped really well on the first of those for trainer Nick Williams when fourth of 14 to the now 147-rated Dawalan in a juvenile hurdle at Newbury.

Alco Sivola raced up with the pace, and after making several mistakes kept on nicely again in the closing stages to be beaten 10 lengths in a race which has thrown-up plenty of subsequent winners.

The five-year-old then spent a lengthy spell on the sidelines after running poorly at Huntingdon, and also failed to shine in his final two outings for Williams.

However, there more to like about his recent reappearance run over 2m at Worcester when sixth of 11 to Dream Bolt on his first start for Fergal O’Brien.

After being held-up, Alco Sivola made headway three from home and kept on nicely under tender handling to be beaten seven lengths.

The son of Alco finished with plenty of petrol left in the tank, and the step up to 2m 4f should suit given the way he finished off the race.

If building on that effort, Alco Sivola looks nicely treated off a mark of 110 judged on his run behind Dawalan.

Thunder worth a Crack

In the 2m 4f novices’ handicap chase that opens proceedings (14.00), Crack Of Thunder can provide in-form trainer Charlie Longsdon with another winner.

The gelding shaped with plenty of promise when placed in three of his four starts over hurdles before being given a racking ride to open his account last time out in handicap at Warwick.

Crack Of Thunder stayed on strongly to score by seven lengths off a mark of 105, despite wandering when hitting the front.

It was an effort which suggested there was much better to come, and the six-year-old has the size and scope to make up into a decent staying chaser.

An opening chase mark of 112 does not look harsh, and granted a clear round Crack Of Thunder looks the one to beat.

Selections:

14.00: Crack Of Thunder (NB)
14.30: Larkhall
15.00: Jethro
15.35: Alco Sivola (NAP)
16.05: The Pier
16.35: Bilzic