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Enjoy a ‘Holiday’ on the sand

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Archie Stevens produced a semi ‘Eureka’ moment whilst analysing the ‘aged’ handicap over five furlongs of Southwell fibresand for today; this is nigh on a ‘cert’ if able to replicate any one of several efforts on the ‘deep stuff’ earlier this year, when trained by David Evans! On February 10th Evans ran Archie Stevens in a course and distance claimer; after this seven- year-old failed by a half length a claim was lodged and now the multi-raced ‘non-winner’ of his last twenty starts, is with trainer Clare Ellam.

True to form ‘Archie’ ran well and that time-handicap mark would see him beat thirteen rivals on this occasion, comfortably; ironically he hasn’t been raced on this surface since, despite running thirteen times for Claire!

Is this a patient policy, the sort that one loved to execute all those years ago when changing jockeys, different distances, etc, confused punters?

That is unlikely, Archie Stevens will have cost ‘new’ owners at least ‘fifteen grand’ in training fees; he’s certainly not worth such a sum and winning anything like it would be difficult but, not impossible.

He’s the sort of sprinter I’d have exploited, 100%, because we’re dealing with a genuine gelding.

Regular partner, Patrick Pilley, claims his 3lbs apprentice allowance off Archie Stevens and given the aforementioned spiel I’ll be backing the Pastoral Pursuits gelding, to win a tidy sum but not fifteen thousands!

Earlier Holiday Girl wont be a surprise if she finally wins at the sixth attempt when blinkered for the first time in a twelve-runner Maiden Stakes over six furlongs.

A ‘process of elimination’ case determined that only recent course and distance disappointment, Charlie’s Dreamer, and Ladies First, are serious rivals. The latter was a creditable close-up debut third in a strongly-run race on Wolverhampton tapeta but is trained by Michael Easterby, so difficult to read!

Eve Johnson Houghton has found a good opportunity for Holiday Girl, most interesting to see if headgear has the desired effect and she acts on the surface. To an extent backing winners at this Nottinghamshire venue is purely, guesswork for punters unless it’s possible to ‘know’ they will; the kick-back looks horrendous nowadays.

Glorvina is one of nine decs’ in the Juvenile Hurdle over two miles of ‘soft’ Fakenham, clear top-rated and a previous winner.

Trainer Charlie Mann has long been a ‘favourite’ and this column has enjoyed many of his winners; Glorvina is worth a serious eachway punt.


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