Widely regarded as the foremost expert on the All-Weather, Simon Mapletoft spearheads the All-Weather Championships coverage on Sky Sports Racing and begins his new weekly blog for MansionBet with his best bets on Southwell’s new Tapeta surface on Thursday and Friday.
Ubahha Can Strike for In-Form Brittain
York trainer Antony Brittain, who is operating at a strike rate of 20 per cent, can take the opening five-furlong handicap (12.22) at Southwell on Thursday with the improving UBAHHA.
The three-year-old posted an eye-catching performance in a deeper race over course and distance last Friday, overcoming a slow start to finish a closing third off a 2lb higher mark.
That was his best run since joining Brittain from John and Thady Gosden at the August sales and I expect Cam Hardie’s mount to build on that from a good middle draw in stall seven.
Hills Stayer to Defy Penalty
The opening race on Southwell’s new Tapeta surface last week fell into the lap of Kieran Shoemark on CARAUSIUS, who can follow up under a penalty in the mile and a half handicap at 2.36 on Thursday.
Ideally suited by the galloping nature of the track, the imposing Charles Hills four-year-old clearly has more to offer over this distance with top jockey Danny Tudhope – back among the winners this week following injury – taking over.
Of his key rivals, Newcastle winner Trinity Girl is effective on Tapeta but has to prove she is up to this mark while top weight Captain Haddock needs a career best to give 9lb and a beating to my selection.
Tongue Tie is Key to Walker Filly
Ed Walker’s filly BELOVED can bounce back from a disappointing run at Kempton Park last month when she lines up for the MansionBet Proud Partners Of AWC Handicap (1.00) at Southwell on Friday.
This lightly raced daughter of Frankel wears a tongue tie for the first time after stopping quickly in that mile contest.
She is better judged on her staying on third over seven furlongs at the Sunbury track in October, when she hit a flat spot before running on well off a 3lb higher rating. The long straight on this more galloping track looks ideal for a filly who is bred to appreciate a test of stamina.
Put Faith in Track Specialist Barron
David Barron, who was the leading trainer on the Southwell Fibresand over 32 years, can continue his fine track form on the new surface with HOMER STOKES in the MansionBet Beaten By A Head Handicap (2.10) at Southwell on Friday.
This gelding landed a gamble when getting off to a perfect start at Wetherby in June and had excuses in his two subsequent starts. He found six furlongs at Catterick too sharp but wasn’t disgraced in a better class race at Ayr in the summer.
Homer Stokes is the unexposed horse in the line-up and Barron can be relied upon to have him in good shape on his return from a lay-off with Connor Beasley – fresh from a course double on Friday – in the saddle.
Simon’s Best Bets:
2.36 Carausius (Nap)
2.10 Homer Stokes