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Lancashire Telegraph racing column
7:00am Tuesday 10th December 2013 in Sport
Frontier Fighter can lead the way in the Ladbrokes Handicap at Southwell.
One or two decent types have been attracted to this seven-furlong affair, as they should be for a race worth £19,000 on a moderate Tuesday afternoon.
Not that many are guaranteed to go on this Fibresand surface, however, and that lends credence to the chance of the David O’Meara-trained five-year-old.
A winner over a mile at the Nottinghamshire venue in March, he has been third and fourth in his two other starts here.
Southwell does not suit every horse, with the other three all-weather tracks racing on Polytrack, so course form is a definite advantage.
Not over-raced for one his age, the selection did little wrong when just touched off at Kempton last month and in fact the majority of his best efforts have come on the sand, as he has also won a couple of times at Wolverhampton.
Just a pound higher than at Kempton, a bold effort seems assured.
Silken Express has to be of interest in the bookmakers.co.uk Handicap.
Another with a definite liking for Southwell with a first and second on her record, Robert Cowell could easily have laid her out for this on the back of a pleasing return to action at Kempton in November.
Tried in a hood for the first time and running for the first time sine June, a troubled passage will have left connections wondering what might have been.
In the end the Speightstown filly was was third, beaten less than three lengths, and the handicapper has left her alone.
She should have come on a bit for the run, and with that in mind - and a reasonable helping of luck in-running this time - her claims appear pretty strong.
A moderate investement on Rock Of Ages could be the way forward in the 32Red.com Handicap.
The four-year-old is still a maiden after 11 tries but put in a better effort on his latest outing at Wolverhampton earlier this month on his first run since a little break, and has gone close over this course and distance.
Financial Climate is no stranger to Fontwell and is worth siding with in the 32Red Casino Handicap Chase.
Oliver Sherwood’s six-year-old bids to atone for a mishap at Stratford in October but that can easily be forgiven and he was a consistent sort last term, gaining a deserved win at Wincanton in May.
He is probably not handicapped out of it just yet.
The return to this track should be of benefit to course and distance victor Wooly Bully in the 32Red On The App Store Juvenile Hurdle.
Alan King’s three-year-old found a penalty and a shorter trip against him when second at Chepstow, but was not disgraced and the extra couple of furlongs is more up his street as he appears to need a genuine test.
Princely Hero does most of his racing at Fontwell and has a decent record of finishing in the money.
The nine-year-old showed he is in good heart when winning at Warwick recently and remains fairly handicapped on the pick of his form ahead of the 32RedPoker.com Handicap Chase.
Star name at Uttoxeter is African Gold as he looks to get off the mark over fences in the Quicksilverslots Play £500 Roulette Novices’ Chase.
A top-notch novice hurdler and second only to At Fishers Cross at Cheltenham in March, confidence had been high he could make a winning start over the bigger obstacles back at Prestbury Park a few weeks ago.
For whatever reason he never looked like doing so, but is surely better than that and in any case this is nowhere near as stern an assignment.
Legacy Gold ran a fine race when conceding weight all round in a Listed bumper at Cheltenham last month and this exciting mare can make a winning start to her jumping career in the Quicksilverslots Get Up To £200 Freeplays Mares’ Maiden Hurdle.
FONTWELL: 12.40 Wooly Bully, 1.10 Viva Steve, 1.40 Bull And Bush, 2.10 Financial Climate, 2.40 Swincombe Stone, 3.10 Princely Hero, 3.40 Osmosia.
SOUTHWELL: 12.00 Dazza, 12.30 Rock Of Ages, 1.00 Spitfire, 1.30 FRONTIER FIGHTER (NAP), 2.00 Silken Express, 2.30 Hussar Ballad, 3.00 Ivy Port, 3.30 Grace Hull.
UTTOXETER: 12.20 Legacy Gold, 12.50 African Gold, 1.20 Vujiyama, 1.50 Finding Your Feet, 2.20 Bob Will, 2.50 Lodgician, 3.20 Onenightinvienna.
DOUBLE: Frontier Fighter and Silken Express.
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