Surfing The Sand

This weekend’s All-Weather Championships action centres on Southwell, who celebrate 30 years of racing on their Fibresand circuit with an eight-race floodlit card. Simon Mapletoft previews the pick of the action and reveals four more eyecatchers from the past week.

  • Thursday 07 November
  • Blog
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REQUITED has produced his best form on the Fibresand and can get back in the winning groove on his return to Southwell in the Betway Supporting Responsible Gambling Handicap (5.10) on Saturday.

Hughie Morrison’s three-year-old can be forgiven his no-show at Bath last month and is better judged on his 6f victory at the Nottinghamshire track 12 days earlier.

A 3lb rise for an authoritative defeat of the reliable Bee Machine shouldn’t prevent him from following up over the minimum trip. He won his novice over course and distance last year and had excuses in a better class race over 5f at Southwell in September when he was drawn away from the pace.

Samovar, trained on the track by Scott Dixon, is 2lb better off than when chasing home a useful sort in a better class race over course and distance last month and rates the main danger.

Mick Appleby’s Zapper Cass is back on an attractive mark in first time eye-shields but hasn’t been at his best in four previous attempts here, while recent 6f novice winner Royal Sands is unproven over this trip.


The switch to Fibresand and a step up in trip proved the key to WADACRE GALOUBETlast month, and Mark Johnston’s unexposed young stayer is taken to follow up in the Betway Live Casino Handicap (6.10) at Southwell on Saturday.

This big-striding son of Born To Sea, who rallied gamely to shed his maiden tag over 1m6f, looks well placed to make the most of this additional two and a half furlongs under his winning jockey PJ McDonald.

Though raised 5lb for that success against his own age group, he should benefit from a 7lb weight for age allowance against mainly exposed opposition.

The other three-year-old in the line-up, Mick Appleby’s Tigray, has won here over 1m4f but was comfortably held off this mark in a course and distance handicap in September so comes back with something to prove.


Richard Fahey’s GINGER MAX could prove the value in the closing Bombardier Golden Beer Handicap (8.10) at Southwell on Saturday.

The three-year-old son of former Fahey star Garswood makes his handicap debut off a modest mark of 58 after showing definite signs of promise over the minimum trip on the Fibresand last time.

He found the early pace far too hot before staying on behind the potentially useful Hareem Queen and subsequent winner Filbert Street, who was only a neck in front, and promises to be much more at home over an additional 2f.



Mark Johnston’s son of Slade Power made a belated debut in a decent 6f novice stakes at Wolverhampton on Wednesday and made a good impression, doubtlessly learning plenty around the sharp bends. Green and outpaced early on, he eventually found his stride and ran on in taking fashion to be third at a big price, beating the William Haggas-trained favourite Moosmee. Being out of a 1m winner, he promises to stay further and can progress in the coming weeks, perhaps on a more galloping track.


David O’Meara has been patient with this Cheveley Park colt since he found the company too hot in a valuable maiden at York’s Ebor Festival. The son of New Approach made his belated re-appearance in a 7f novice stakes at Newcastle last week and produced a much more promising effort, staying on with purpose to be second. This half-brother to the smart Lake Volta is bred to appreciate a step up to 1m in due course.


David Barron’s veteran has posted solid back-to-back efforts on the All-Weather including his strong finishing third in a hot handicap at Lingfield Park last week. A Listed winner at Wolverhampton back in March, he wasn’t helped by a wide trip in the 7f feature but really motored once he got back on an even keel and can win again off an unchanged mark, possibly back over that stiffer 7f at Newcastle.


Derek Shaw must have been thrilled with this gelding’s comeback run in a warm handicap at Kempton Park on Monday. The six-year-old finished strongly to be second over 1m and can go one better next time off what should remain a competitive mark. Samphire Coast won over 1m at the Sunbury track in February but is also effective at Chelmsford and Southwell, so options are open.

Surfing The Sand

Southwell 17:10, 9 November 2019

Southwell 18:10, 9 November 2019

Southwell 20:10, 9 November 2019

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