SUNDAY WEEKENDER

13:40 Southwell With just two meetings scheduled this Sunday we ignore Ireland and focus solely on the all-weather action from Southwell. The first selection is very speculative as we plump for the rank outsider of this seven runner contest. The market leader, Play Nicely is a course and distance winner who deserves respect as a likely improver. Trainer David Barron sends the horse back to the place of its success just this Tuesday and with the yard doing well it is undoubtedly the one to beat. It’s a shame the race only has the seven set to go to post so unfortunately only has the two places on offer for each-way punters but never the less I’ve gone with Big Storm Coming. I find course form at Southwell counts for a lot and is one of only three to win here before. David Griffiths has picked up a few winners recently and a step up in trip from its fifth placed finish last time out should be a positive. At the age of six it is far from over the hill and now sitting six pounds lower than its previous success a chance is taken with the Stevie Donohoe ridden runner. Big Storm Coming (E/W)

14:10 Southwell Scott Dixon is one of few locally based trainers to Southwell and often has a runner or two at this venue but of this nine runner field he saddles a third of them. Of his three runners you could easily be swayed to think that, based on jockey bookings, Cloak And Degas, is the most likely of his trio to run a big race. Although I’m a huge Luke Morris fan, especially on an artificial surface, as mentioned earlier course form counts for a lot and his mount hasn’t fired here before where as Dixon’s other two have won here previously. Both Age Of Innocence and Boolass look the biggest threats but I’m sticking with a Scott Dixon trained runner in the form of Spowarticus. The horse has never finished outside of the top four on all of its starts at Southwell and as it’s handicap rating looks competitive this son of Shamardal is worth an each-way punt. Spowarticus (E/W)

15:40 Southwell We end proceedings with the final race on the card in a “Hands And Heels” apprentice handicap. The current betting favourite is Charlie Lad who, at the age of four, looks a younger and more likely improver than most of its rivals. It seems an ultra consistent sort but with only one win to its name I couldn’t be overly positive that it’s going to find its head in front. There seems to have been support for another of Scott Dixon’s runner in the form of Sir Geoffrey but at the ripe old age of ten it’s safe to say its best days are likely to be far behind. As has been the running theme with todays three selections course form is important and is why I’m siding with Michael Mullineaux’s seven year old Very First Plade. The course and distance winner returns to the all-weather after a lacklustre spell on turf. A short break could do the horse a bit of good and with eleven top three finishes here from eighteen attempts a placed effort isn’t far from realistic with a decent seven pound claimer onboard. Very First Blade (E/W)

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