'Very unlucky not to win last time' - can Robsam go one better at Southwell?
Dapper Spaniel Gastro Pub Rolleston Handicap Hurdle | 3m½f | 4yo+ | Sky
Many of the ten runners appear badly out of form at present and it may pay to focus on those with more solid recent efforts.
The low-weighted Robsam fits the bill. His trainer Martin Keighley has made a cracking start to the new season and three of his last five runners have been successful.
Robsam is by no means an easy ride – he needs plenty of driving during his races – but does find plenty for pressure.
The fact that he finished second over course and distance on good ground last time under 11st 4lb is another point in his favour. He carries only 10st 10lb this time and remains lightly raced with just eight starts behind him.
Even less exposed is the Oliver Sherwood-trained challenger, What A Glance, who could be open to plenty of improvement now that he tackles a 3m-plus trip for the first time.
The six-year-old was noted doing all his best work at the finish last time out over 2m3f at Fontwell and now races off a 1lb lower mark.
Romeo Brown, beaten a short head by Oksana two starts ago at Market Rasen in April for Phil Kirby, makes his first appearance for Sue Smith.
Oksana franked the form last Monday when beating Catchmeifyoucan by a length and a quarter at Cartmel in a mares’ handicap hurdle.
Eden Collonges may be 5lb out of the handicap at the foot of the weights, but he ran a sound race to finish runner-up to Realms Of Fire over course and distance last time and is by no means a forlorn hope.
Race analysis by Richard Birch
What they say
Kevin Frost, trainer of Calvinist
He's a bit of an enigma and we're trying three miles with him for the first time. If he's ever going to stay, it will be around Southwell and hopefully it might bring a bit of improvement and make life a bit easier for him. He can throw in the odd bad run but he's in great shape at home.
Oliver Sherwood, trainer of What A Glance
He's stepping up to three miles but we think he'll stay and if he does he should be knocking on the door. He's been very unlucky in a few of his runs, including last time at Fontwell when he was inconvenienced on the turn in. He didn't stay this trip in point-to-points but he's much more mature these days. He's going the right way and just needs a change of fortune.
Martin Keighley, trainer of Robsam
It's a slight step up in grade but he likes the course and was very unlucky not to win there last time. He's not the quickest but he's tough and genuine and should have a good, solid chance. Our horses are running well and he'll have conditions to suit – they do a good job with the ground at Southwell.
Reporting by Jack Haynes
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