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Southwell and Wetherby previews: Celldomfed hungry for more success

| 24.05.2016

David Metcalf | May 24, 2016

Celldomfed looks tasty on handicap debut at Southwell

Celldomfed scored in terrific style last time out and can take advantage of what looks a lenient mark to follow-up on in this evening’s card at Southwell (19.35).

The gelding was a bumper winner in Ireland when trained by Adrian Maguire, and came good at the fourth time of asking for Jonjo’O’Neill when landing a 2m maiden hurdle at Chepstow last month in emphatic fashion.

After being held-up towards the rear, Celldomfed scythed through the pack three from home before taking up the running after the last to win going away by 3 1/4 lengths from Whispering Storm.


The runner-up is a well-regarded sort from the Paul Nicholls yard, and the third home Hannah Just Hannah was rated 113 going into the race and has since run well on two occasions to make the frame.

That gives the form a strong look and makes Celldomfed look nicely treated off an opening mark of 116 on handicap debut given that he finished six lengths in front of Hannah Just Hannah.

The manner of the victory also suggested that the six-year-old needed keeping firmly onside and had plenty more improvement in the locker, and Celldomfed hails from a yard that does well with its runners at the track and also has the services in the saddle of champion jockey Richard Johnson.

Set In My Ways each-way value

O’Neill and Johnson also team up in the 2m 4f handicap hurdle (20.05) with Set In My Ways, and the gelding looks a lively outsider and decent each-way value now returned to a sounder surface.

The five-year-old ran a blinder on racecourse debut when fifth of 22 to the now 147-rated Petit Mouchoir in a valuable bumper at Punchestown 13 months ago, and also shaped with plenty of promise on his third start over hurdles when runner-up at Ludlow.

Set In My Ways kept on nicley in the latter to be beaten just over two lengths, and the third and fourth home have both won since to be rated 128 and 119 respectively.

That gives the form a solid look and suggests that Set In My Ways is potentially well-treated off a mark of 115.

Although the son of Presenting has failed to sparkle in two runs since going down the handicap route, it remains early days and Set In My Ways looks the type who could come into his own this summer on quick ground.

Southwell selections:

17.25: Grand March
17.55: Ever So Much
18.30: Rocklander (NB)
19.00: Sanaija
19.35: Celldomfed (NAP)
20.05: Set In My Ways (E/W)
20.35: Kalariya

Udontdodou can compete hat-trick at Wetherby

Udontdodou is a young sprinter going places and can make light of a penalty to make it three wins on the bounce this season in the 5f handicap on this evening’s card at Wetherby (18.45).

The Richard Guest trained three-year-old looked a smart prospect when bolting up by seven lengths in a maiden at Thirsk, and confirmed that view when making a mockery of an opening handicap mark of 79 to follow-up at Windsor eight days ago.

After being held-up on the heels of the leaders in the latter, Udontdodou was denied a clear run a furlong from home but when a gap opened on the rail burst through and showed a smart turn of foot to put the race instantly to bed and score easily by 2 1/2 lengths.


It was a most taking performance which suggested the son of Fastnet Rock needed keeping onside, and it’s no surprise to see connections turn him out quickly under a 6lb penalty before a revised mark of 89 kicks-in.

Udontdodou is able to race in this off 86 so is officially 3lb well in at the weights, and that is going to make very tough to beat.

He also remains lightly raced and open to any amount of further improvement, and looks miles ahead of the assessor and a potential pattern performer in the making for later in the season.

Vaux poised to open account

Vaux ran a stormer when runner-up last time out and can go one better to open his account in the 5f maiden (17.40).

The Ben Haslam trained juvenile left his debut effort well behind when beaten just 1/2 a length by Cuppacoffee at Ripin early in the month.

After rearing at the stalls and being slowly away, Vaux made good headway two from home and through down a strong and persistent challenge inside the last before being unable to find any extra close home.

The son of Sir Prancelet still looked very green and didn’t know what was fully required to get the job done, and may well have prevailed had he not kept changing his legs and wandering about due to lack of experience.

However, it was still a highly promising effort and Vaux is sure to have learnt plenty from it.

Judged on that running Vaux should have little difficulty winning a race of this nature, and he looks a bit of value to get the better of the favourite Dubai Knights in what looks a two horse race on paper.

Wetherby selections:

17.40: Vaux (NB)
18.10: Contendit
18.45: Udontdodou (NAP)
19.15: Just Be Lucky
19.50: Swashbuckling
20.20: Sir George Somers
20.50: Thankyou Very Much


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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.