RACE PREVIEW & TIPS (THURSDAY)

12:40 Southwell

With five course and distance winners in the ten horse lineup it makes the second race from Southwell hard to decipher but local trainer Scott Dixon loves a winner here at his nearby course. Dixon is set to saddle nine year old Boots And Spurs who aims to make it a trio of course and distance wins. I understand it may be hard to side with a horse who hasn’t finished inside the top half of any of his last ten starts but a return to the all-weather is a plus especially now with 22lbs less weight to carry since his last all-weather success. A recent victory for young apprentice jockey Theodore Ladd has people in the know laying praise at the feet of this great prospect so the booking of this precious talent also adds fuel to the notion that this veteran has a great chance. Speaking of veterans you can’t ignore bottom weight and Southwell legend General Tufto. For most flat horses it’s unheard of to continue their careers once they get past the age of 8 or 9 but at the staggering age of 13 it’s unbelievable to see this OAP of the racing world continue to enter the stalls. With over 200 career starts to his name it’s safe to say experience is on his side and a 4th placed effort in his most recent race shows he still retains some ability to compete but surely he can’t win here once again? Can he?

The more likely rival to our selection has much younger legs. Amity Island has a great record here at Southwell and a return to an artificial surface looks a positive move after some lacklustre turf runs. Trainer Ollie Pears has a 49% strike rate for his horses finishing in the top 3 at this venue and he looks to have a horse in Amity Island that’s likely to be in the frame once again.

BOOTS AND SPURS (WIN) – NAP