Steve Hughes has two selection for the Fibresand on Tuesday
Given worries over the cold weather at the two jumps fixtures, I am concentrating on the card at Southwell where there is a good sprint as the centrepiece. We got off to a good start for the week with headline selection Smooth Stepper a winner (advised 100/30)
Southwell 3.05: Foolaad
To say that the 7yo Foolaad is a late developer would be something of an understatement. However is in the form of his life and can land a winter hat-trick this afternoon.
He did not see a racecourse until the age of four, but did get off to a decent start by placing second on his first two starts and then winning a 5f maiden at Doncaster. His career stagnated somewhat after that, but he did not race again over the minimum trip for another two and a half years, until December 29th last year.
That said he was in great form over 6f and 7f last spring, winning three in a row including twice on the All Weather at Newcastle. However a return to the 5f distance has seen him rise a new level and he backed up a class 4 win with one in class 2 company here two weeks ago. I think he was value for more than the neck margin that day and can defy a 3lb rise in a slightly lower grade.
Southwell 3.35: Fortinbrass
Gradually creeping down the handicap after a succession of mid-division efforts in slightly higher grades, the Fibresand specialist Fortinbrass looks capable of making the frame at least in those lowly 0-55.
He has been beaten less than 3l in three of his last four starts, all at this track and is 7lbs better off with his conqueror last time Sir Geoffrey, given that gifted Lewis Edmunds takes off 3lbs today.
He is now 7lbs lower than for his last win gained here last April and this is the first time he has dropped into a 0-55 contest since winning here in January 2016.
1pt win – Foolaad – 3.05 Southwell – 15/8 general
1pt each-way – Fortinbrass – 3.35 Southwell – 11/2 Ladbrokes, Paddy Power