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Southwell preview: Golden chance for Fortinbrass

| 05.01.2016

David Metcalf | January 5, 2016

Fortinbrasss ran a blinder when runner-up last time out and can go one better to land an overdue success in the 6f handicap at Southwell today (15.40).

The six-year-old was last successful in a claimer over course and distance back in December 2013 off an official rating of 78 when trained by David O’Meara.

Now in the care of John Balding, Fortinbrass is now able to race off a mark of just 53.

That is a massive 25lb lower than when last victorious, and the gelding comes into the contest on the back of two solid efforts at the track which suggests his time is near.

After finishing third over 7f when weakening late on after looking the likely winner, Fortinbrass found only the enterprisingly ridden Fujin too good when dropped back down to 6f last time out.

The son of Baltic King kept on well to be beaten just over two lengths having conceded first run, and the third home Gulland Rock has come out and won since.

Race horse trainer JOHN BALDING.

That gives the form a solid look, and off an unchanged mark this looks a glorious opportunity for Fortinbrass to get back on the scoresheet.

Vastly can improve after drop in grade

In the 1m 4 handicap (15.10), Vastly looks to hold leading claims of landing the spoils now eased in grade.

The Julia Feilden trained gelding has just one win to his name, and that came in a maiden at Wolverhampton 11 months ago when beating Coilte Cailin by a neck off an official rating of 68.

Vastly has since run well to finish fourth on three occasions, and having once been rated as high as 70 is now able to race off a career-low of just 61.

That gives the seven-year-old major claims from a handicapping perspective, and Vastly comes into the race on the back of an eye-catching sixth of 14 in a class 5 contest at Kempton.

The son of Mizzen Mast lost vital ground at the start when slowly away before keeping on nicely to be beaten 3 1/4 lengths without being unduly knocked about, and it was an effort which makes him a major player in this now dropped down into class 6 company.


12.40: Carbutt’s Ridge
13.10: Clockmaker
13.40: Westwood Hoe
14.10: Starving Faithful
14.40: Swift Cedar
15.10: Vastly (NB)
15.40: Fortinbrass (NAP)


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David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.