Expect a Command performance at Southwell

Steve Hughes previews Tuesday’s racing.

Nothing of great quality on Tuesday, but two horses who appear best suited to a stamina test on deep ground are preferred. My main selection is for a horse who revelled on his first visit to the Fibresand surface at Southwell, but I also have a fancy for a horse sure to do beat in extreme conditions over fences at Lingfield.

Southwell 12.50: High Command

One of Roger Varian’s more backward horses, High Command looks to have learned the ropes in time for this All Weather season as he seems to be relishing an artificial surface and in particular acted well on Southwell’s Fibresand here last time.

Well fancied for his racecourse debut at Doncaster’s opening turf meeting in the spring, he disappointed then – and only showed a modicum of ability in two further starts in maidens on turf. That earned him an unflattering mark of 69 for a horse that cost a cool £150k as a yearling.

However sent up to Newcastle for his first run in a handicap he finished a fair third to the bang in-form Ajman Prince. Having been set for the sales last month, interestingly he was withdrawn suggesting connections thought there was potential to hang on to. That seems to be proved correct as he was value for far more than a 2l win here last time. Tanking to the front 4f out but idling once in command. As a result he has only got a 6lb rise and that could prove overly generous now we know he handles this track.

Lingfield 3.10: Kap Jazz

The rains of the past couple of days will ensure Lingfield becomes the usual stamina test over jumps, specially at this 3m trip. One horse who caught my eye as a potential dour stayer for the future last season was Kap Jazz and Venetia Williams has her string far enough forward to suggest he can do the job first time out.

He proved quick enough (just) to win over 2m5f at Wincanton over hurdle last season, although he needed every inch of the trip to get on top. He was not beaten far in two subsequent soft ground runs before finding quickening conditions totally against him at Exeter.

However slow but sure is what you need at Lingfield and whilst he lacks experience over fences, there was definite promise when second to Fight Commander at Huntingdon last season on his one try to date over the bigger obstacles. Kept back to retain his novice status for this term, he returns to fencing today and I strongly suspect that he will need this very soft ground to grind others down.

Recommended bets:

2pts win – High Command – 12.50 Southwell – 11/8 BetVictor, William Hill

1pt win – Kap Jazz – 3.10 Lingfield – 7/1 William Hill

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