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Lancashire Telegraph racing column
7:00am Tuesday 11th February 2014 in Sport
Apostle can make the most of the step back to seven furlongs in the Ladbrokes Handicap at Southwell.
David Simcock’s decision to try his charge over a mile last time narrowly failed to pay off as he was beaten just a length and a half when third in what appeared a competitive little heat at Lingfield.
Apostle was clearly struggling for a final burst in the dying strides that day and having won three times at seven furlongs and once at six, it seems a mile just stretches his stamina.
That said, he was not disgraced behind Rebellious Guest and the handicapper must also have been marginally impressed as he has raised the five-year-old a further 1lb to a mark of 90.
While he will have to post a career best to win off that perch, Apostle is in fine heart and rates an interesting contender as he tries the Fibresand for the first time.
Beachwood Bay should appreciate a move in the opposite direction to Apostle, stepping back up in trip after being beaten four lengths over six furlongs here last month.
Dropping back to six, Beachwood Bay was ridden positively but could not find much of a kick in the finish and had to be content with fourth place.
Given that Jo Hughes’ charge had previously finished a close-up second over seven furlongs, the extra distance has to be in his favour.
Beachwood Bay was behind Arabian Flight on that occasion and while the pair clash again in the Bet On Your Mobile With Ladbrokes Selling Stakes, Hughes’ runner is worth another chance.
Mondlicht hails from a black type family and is the choice as he makes a belated racecourse bow in the Download The Ladbrokes App Maiden Stakes.
An expensive purchase back in 2011, Mondlicht appears unlikely to repay his price tag and but is well worth following as Mark Johnston has persevered to get him to the track.
Scimon Templar looks a worthy ally in the Cheltenham 2014 NRFB At BetVictor.com Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle at Ayr.
Trained in Northumberland by Pauline Robson, the six-year-old turned in a good display at Newcastle last month when he succumbed by just a nose to Blake Dean in a two-mile handicap hurdle.
Robson’s inmate would not be noted for his consistency since being sent handicapping, but a race of this nature should be within his radar.
He will also be fitter than at Gosforth Park as that was his first start since last April.
Scimon Templar was hardly flagging towards the line that day, though, so it is interesting to see connections give him another chance to shine over a longer trip.
One of the least exposed horses in this line-up, he should have enough about him to win off a mark of 94.
Hotgrove Boy looks the solution to the Download The BetVictor App Now Handicap Chase.
Stuart Coltherd’s seven-year-old looked revitalised at Catterick on New Year’s Eve with a game second behind Proud Times on just his second start over fences.
He finally appears to have found a niche in which to bring to an end an unwanted winless streak.
And The Man has hardly been slaughtered by the assessor for a convincing success here in January and can maintain the winning habit in the BetVictor’s Live Casino Handicap Chase.
Nicky Richards’ eight-year-old loves heavy ground and is again likely have conditions made to measure at the Scottish circuit.
Donald McCain should also be on the mark with Uppertown Cave in the Cheltenham Non-Runner Free Bet At BetVictor.com Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.
The Cheshire handler paid £60,000 for the point winner at Brightwells last November and he quickly recouped a tiny fraction of that when winning a bumper at this track in January.
Related to Irish National winner Point Barrow, he struck by six lengths that day and should be more than capable of defying a penalty.
AYR: 1.50 Titus Bolt, 2.20 Layla Joan, 2.55 Scimon Templar, 3.25 Tiny Dancer, 4.00 Hotgrove Boy, 4.30 And The Man, 5.00 Uppertown Cave.
SOUTHWELL: 1.30 Art Dzeko, 2.00 Mondlicht, 2.35 Beachwood Bay, 3.05 APOSTLE (NAP), 3.40 Adili, 4.10 Romantic Bliss, 4.40 Samoset.
DOUBLE: Apostle and Beachwood Bay.