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Lancashire Telegraph racing column
7:00am Tuesday 28th January 2014 in Sport
La Estrella can light up a very average afternoon at Southwell by landing a record-equalling 25th success in the Coral App Download From The App Store Selling Stakes.
Don Cantillon’s charge is obviously far from top class but there can be little arguing with his excellent race record and the skills of his handler in placing him to best effect.
The 11-year-old has struck gold 15 times at Southwell and it would be a fitting venue for him to level the score with China Castle, who notched a quarter-century of all-weather wins between 1995 and 2002.
La Estrella had to survive a stewards’ inquiry when recording a rare win at Lingfield earlier this month, edging across the track a little under pressure but eventually gaining the day by a head from While You Wait.
He had previously struck at odds of 1-25 over this course and distance but he should be a bit longer this time as technically he has a bit to find with Stand Guard at the weights.
It will be no penalty kick for La Estrella but back as his favourite venue, Cantillon’s runner can secure a landmark success.
Munaawib is another who thrives at the Nottinghamshire circuit and despite disappointing slightly last time, he should be given another chance in the Download The Ladbrokes App Handicap.
He struggled to find an extra gear when the pace upped a notch over seven furlongs last time so the decision to try him back over a mile could prove to be a good bit of business from trainer David Griffiths.
Munaawib has not run over eight furlongs for the best part of a year, but he placed a couple of times at the trip on turf and is worth another shot despite another slight hike in the ratings.
Misleading Promise’s two career wins have come on the Fibresand and a return to the surface can see him bounce back to form.
A winner here in March last year, Misleading Promise was then off the track until earlier this month, when he finished well adrift in a six-runner heat at Southwell.
His last couple of runs at Wolverhampton offered a little more hope and eased a couple of pounds in the ratings, he is back on the mark he won off in 2013.
De Lesseps ended a lamentable run of form when winning at Southwell earlier in January and can follow up in the Bet On Your Mobile With Ladbrokes Handicap.
The nearest he had got to winning in 10 previous starts was when fifth in a Wolverhampton handicap last August but dropped to seven furlongs on the Fibresand, the six-year-old finally got his head in front.
Racing off a mark of 48, he looked to have some scope for further improvement and a 3lb rise should not slow him down too much.
Tin Pot Man is another on an attractive perch at present and could take some beating in the Iris Sharp Memorial Handicap Chase at Taunton.
Evan Williams’ has been mixing and matching over fences and hurdles this term, but his recent chase second at Chepstow offers plenty of hope in this sphere.
On a mark of 95 now, he is still some 5lb lower than when he won at Ffos Las last January, revelling in just the type of testing ground he could well face in the west country.
Tin Pot Man clearly handles the conditions and is one to watch at present.
Shammick Boy turned in a lacklustre effort last time but should be given another chance in the Bathwick Tyres Handicap Hurdle.
A 5lb hike for a Chepstow win may have been a bit harsh and while the handicapper has relented slightly, Shammick Boy will have to improve on his recent Exeter outing.
That said, he is more than capable on his day and this might be a slightly easier event.
Thomas Junior is worth another chance in the EPDS Racing Welfare BTO Series 2014 Novices’ Hurdle.
He showed up well in two bumper starts but his jumping let him down when he tackled obstacles for the first time in public at Doncaster recently.
He clearly has ability and if David Pipe has managed to sharpen up his hurdling, Thomas Junior appeals as a likely winner.
SOUTHWELL: 1.20 Honest Strike, 1.50 Take The Lead, 2.20 La Estrella, 2.50 Misleading Promise, 3.20 Waveguide, 3.50 Munaawib, 4.20 DE LESSEPS (NAP).
TAUNTON: 1.40 Waldorf Salad, 2.10 Thomas Junior, 2.40 Shammick Boy, 3.10 Tin Pot Man, 3.40 Bedouin Bay, 4.10 Coolbeg, 4.40 Western Diva.
DOUBLE: De Lesseps and La Estrella.
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