Brian Hughes and Harry Skelton are locked in a titanic battle for the 2020/2021 N/H jockeys’ championship. Both riders have plenty of winning chances at Hexham and Southwell respectively on Wednesday. However, it is to the East Midlands track where we go for today’s Horse Racing tips, previews and predictions.
Skelton has good chances in the first six races at Southwell and we expect the rider to record at least two wins, one for his brother Dan at 3.20pm and one for Olly Murphy at 1.45pm. We will also supply a Horse Racing tip for the day’s finale at 4.20pm, an extended 2m 4f conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle.
Our Tip for the 1.45pm at Southwell:
After joining trainer Olly Murphy from Eoin Doyle in Ireland last November, First Class Return was kept over hurdles for his first four starts, finishing runner-up on the last two occasions before reverting back to fences for his current handler.
Things could hardly have gone much better for the eight-year-old, as the mount of Harry Skelton cruised home by 25 lengths over today’s course and distance without any apparent effort. A 7lb penalty is unlikely to prevent the son of Let The Lion Roar from following up against a field of mainly out-of-form rivals.
The one most likely to follow the selection home is Commit Or Quit and jockey Bryan Carver who, after falling at Warwick when in the lead, has since run two creditable races at Wetherby without troubling the judge.
Our Tip for the 3.20pm at Southwell:
A narrow second at Newbury less than a week ago, Soyouthinkagain, from the stable of Dan Skelton and the mount of brother Harry, makes a quick reappearance in this 3m handicap hurdle. Off the same mark of 109, the So You Think gelding looks the one they all have to beat.
The six-year-old has not finished out of the first three in his last five starts (including one easy victory at Stratford) and produced his best effort yet when going down by three quarters of a length to the improving Jonjo O’Neill-trained Coeur Serein last Friday.
The fact that the third horse there, Thunderstruck, was some nine and a half lengths away gives a solid look to the form and connections of Soyouthinkagain can take advantage of his current rating prior to being reassessed by the handicapper.
Next best may be last month’s course and distance winner Gold Runner who has since finished a neck third at Catterick when looking an unlucky loser after drifting left in the closing stages.
Our Tip for the 4.20pm at Southwell:
The Oliver Greenall-trained Shady Character is of interest in this moderate conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle off a mark of 92 and in the hands of 3lb claimer Ross Turner.
The eight-year-old’s best effort over hurdles came when third of 15 under today’s rider at Uttoxeter last November off a 2lb higher mark. Significantly, that career-best effort was recorded on ground described as good to soft, as was the gelding’s most recent five and a half length fourth of 16 at Newcastle earlier this month.
All of Shady Character’s disappointing runs came in either soft or heavy conditions. So, with the ground at Southwell expected to ride on the good side, it would be no surprise to see the son of Malinas record his first victory in ten attempts.
The Fergal O’Brien-trained Project Mars was in cracking form during 2020, winning two of his seven starts along with being placed in another four. The Presenting gelding may have needed his first run in over three months at Wincanton and is the other one to consider.
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