Viking Blond Value For Fontwell 1.50
The Totepool Southern National at Fontwell Park today features the last two winners of the race, in addition to any number of interesting soft ground stayers. Not least Amigo, from David Pipe’s yard, whose team will be on a real high after their double at Cheltenham yesterday. Peut Etre Sivola won back-to-back renewals in 2009 and 2010, and Amigo definitely has a race of this nature in him.
Incentivise won the race in 2012, and looked his usual tough self when winning at Carlisle on his reappearance, but the real heavy ground would be a worry, as he doesn’t mind a bit of cut, but I suspect not bottomless.
The bet of the day is Rebecca Curtis’ Boyfromnowhere, who won the race in ready fashion last year from a 2lb higher mark, and his run behind What A Warrior at Ludlow last time suggests he enters the fray once again at the Sussex venue in even better form than last year.
Dan Skelton’s What A Warrior went on to win the valuable United House Gold Cup at Ascot of a 13lb higher mark next time out, and Rebecca Curtis’ mud-loving son of Old Vic kept tabs on him for a long way and will strip much fitter for that run.
He should be clear favourite in my eyes, as Curtis’ horses are in arguably better form this term, and at 9/2 with Ladbrokes he is an outstanding bet to regain his crown. Peter Bowen has rejuvenated a handful of chasers over the past few years, and he inherited the ex-Nigel Twiston-Davies inmate Viking Blond when he won a selling hurdle at Ffos Las for Sophie Leech.
That was in the mud as ever at the Welsh venue, and interestingly he went without any of the usual headgear, and showed much more zest. He then had one run in a Newton Abbot handicap chase on good to firm ground, that wouldn’t have suited at all, but yet he ran with some credit.
Freshened up by four months off the track, he is incredibly well-handicapped on his close third to
Monbeg Dude at Cheltenham off a mark of 132 just two years ago. He runs here from a lowly rating of 114, and at 20/1 with Coral who pay 1/4 odds the place, he is worth a small each-way investment.