The Plan is to pick a race each day and give it a fairly detailed preview - hopefully picking up a worthwhile punt, but not scrabbling around for one. In reality, the "every jumps day" might prove impractical. For instance, you have been to Plumpton, had a couple of pints, get the train back, go to the pub. There might well be time to go through a race and publish, but no-one wants the unintelligible guff. So The Plan and The Harsh Reality may not always coincide.

The verdict is simple for each horse: The more Axes the better, but lay, or at least avoid, the Stalins. Keep a wary eye on the Mysterons
In order to handle changeable ground, a preference table has been added - the key is:
Y+ = Strong preference      Y = OK      Y? = Probably OK      ?Y = Maybe OK      ? = insufficient evidence
?x = Maybe a problem      x? = probably a problem      x = definite problem      blank = no evidence to judge
25th June, Southwell 5.15, Horse Race Betting Odds At Handicap Hurdle, Div II (class 5, 0-100)

Layout: left-handed, sharp, level

Distance: 3 miles

Going: Good

Stables in strong form: Dan Skelton

Stables in below par form:  Sara Ender

Claiming jockey watch: Nathan Moscrop (Mister Kalanisi) claims 5 lb, 32/477. Ryan Day (Kiwayu) claims 3 lb, 69/583. Graham Carson (Anthony Carson) claims 10 lb, 2/17. Lorcan Murtagh (Grand Gigolo) claims 5 lb, 33/378. Ross Chapman (French Seventyfive) claims 3 lb, 59/400
All that is needed here is start, stay prominent, see out the distance. Should be fairly easy, right? Apparently that was too much to ask. So the picks, with a bit of caution are Ilewindelilah at 3/1 or more, with Tickanrun as the each-way alternative.

HorseGoing DistanceCourse Comments
HeavySoft Gd-SoftGoodGd-Fm2m 4fLHSharpLevel
------------------------ -------- -------------------------------------------
Duffy AllenYYYYYhandicap debut
Mister Kalanisi?Y??Y?YYY
Welcome Polly?????x??
Amble Inn??xY?YYYY
Grand Gigolo?YY?YYYx?Y
French SeventyfivexxYYYYYY
Points of Order

DUFFY ALLEN (Nick Kent), 11-12, official rating 100

This will be his first try in handicap company, following on from his his best run in novice hurdling. All of the races in that grade were at about two and a half miles, so this is a voyage into the unknown and the signals to be read about his posssible stamina have so far been mixed It should be noted that he had not been devoid of ability in bumpers, so that better run (in a bad rad) was not a shock, but it is more than six months since his most recent run. Be wary of him, but no need to be quaking in your boots.

MISTER KALANISI (Sara Ender), 11-10, or 98

A horse that does not keep busy, he was runner-up to Desoto County in an Irish point just over five years ago and has had only six runs since. Eight hundred days off between finishing with Dan Skelton and starting for his current yard last month take up most of that. Both of the comeback races have been OK and at two and a half miles, and when he raced at 2m 7.5f in early 2016, on heavy going, he seemed to just about stay it. Even if he did not, it was a narrow failure and he could easily have grown into it in less tiring conditions. Not that lack of mud is known to suit.

KIWAYU (MIke Sowersby), 11-7 or 95, tongue tie

In 2016 he gained his fourth win on the flat, so although not destined for jumping stardom, he clearly had the ability and attitude needed to get something worthy done. In his first stint he proved the exact opposite, managing no performance of note. Then in 2016 the penny dropped and he had a close Sedgefield second, a Uttoxeter win and a third back up north, all 2m 4f on good ground. Jumps was not revisited until last December, and he has been as hopeless as he was first time round. There was a sign a week and a half ago that he was sneaking back into form, but three miles is not the vehicle to complete the fight back - he was stuffed in the only try (admittedly on soft ground).

TICKANRUN (Micky Hammond), 11-4, or 92

So far he has not won a race, but he has been runner-up five times in a six race spell, one which covered two trainers, two years and a twenty month break in the middle. Unlike some of the line up he has shown his best form at three mile, has occasionally acted on good ground and handles a sharp, left-handed course. Discouragingly he is often held up at the back, and on this course it can be very tricky to weave through the stragglers in time to challenge. Hopefully connections will choose this to be one of the days when they let him stroll along nearer to the race leaders from an early stage.

WELCOME POLLY (Dan Skelton), 11-3, or 91

She raced five times for Charlie Mann, pulling up three times (inlcuding handicap debut) and losing the other two by 110 and 41 lengths. Therefore Dan Skelton has already improved her because her one run from the yard was a twenty lengths sixth. That hardly marks her out as one lump on, but she was ridden by a claimer having only his tenth ride under Rules last time, and adding Harry Skelton to the pairing has the potential to bring another step forward. The problem is she needs two or three of them. Perhaps challenging this motley bunch with a tactical change and skipping off in front would be a difference.

AMBLE INN (Anthony Carson), 10-13, or 87

Without setting the world alight in any way, she comes here having run stinkingly bad races far less often than most, if not all of the oppo. He last two have been her best, losing by eight lengths here over two and a half miles and then by five lengths over 2m 7.5f at Fakenham. Despite the reasonable face value result, she did not do that job like a stayer, losing the lead two out, hanging in contention after and then losing third weakly late in the race. The sudden climb into the home straight makes Fakenham a bit more testing than here, but it is hard to have absolute faith in her staying power.

ILEWINDELILAH (Charlie Mann), 10-10, or 84, blinkers

It is not long since she joined the site list to follow and she gets ideal conditions here - 2m 7f or more, blinkers, ran fairly recently. She had ideal conditions other than a recent race at Huntingdon on the latest Bank Holiday Monday and was beaten eleven lengths into fourth - running really well until fitness gave out approaching the last. So we know what tilts the scales to her advantage, but as is very normal for horses at this level, it does not make her invincible. However, with the benefit of the tune-up run, it is reasonable to think she has the potential for a major contribution to this race - as long as she does not get stuck too far towards the back in the early part of the race.

KOVERA (Tim Vaughan), 10-7, or 81

The last two races have involved winning a Maiden point-to-point in Wales over 2m 4f and then pulling up in a full three mile Restricted. As his handicap mark indicates, the win was the outlier in the statistics, as he generally gets taled off in all sorts of hurdle races under Rules. We could note a third in this meeting two years back (two mile maiden hurdle) and last September he was fourth by ten lengths in a 2m 5.5f handicap hurdle at Newton Abbot. Alas, both of his staying race attempts have gone really rather terribly, and count plenty against him.

GRAND GIGOLO (Mike Sowersby), 10-3, or 77, cheekpieces

One of the few here to boast staying hurdle success, he did so at Ludlow in late 2014. That has turned out to be his only win, althugh his career was waylaid by an attempt to be a chaser, despite a lack of basic jumping skill. When back hurdling he did manage a third place at Huntingdon but after eighteen months off soon after, he was sent pointing. The really rather predictable outcome was PPUUF. So hurdling was back on his agenda and he was tailed off behind Ilewindelilah last time. Capable of better than the recent deplorable form figures, but maybe not on a sharp course

FRENCH SEVENTYFIVE (Gillian Boanas), 10-0, or 74 (real rating 68)

After beginning life as a flat horse, he made a modest start to hurdles, but finished a close second in his third try and won the fourth, on this course over two and a half miles. Since that he has been rather unpredictable and following some wobbly efforts he went pointing. Early success there did not impress him and he develop a tendency to be second too often. However, there have been two course and distance wins hurdling and a staying chase success elsewhere - but nothing for two years. Being a bit out of the handicap is not important because if is head is in gear, a rating of 74 is easily dealt with, and if his mind is elsewhere, not even the most derisory handicap mark will save him.
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