Fakenham winner Global Domination can conquer all at Southwell
Michael Bell has a 26 per cent strike-rate here and both of his entries on the card merit respect, most notably NEVERBEEN TO PARIS (4.40).
He showed promise in all three starts last summer, particularly when staying on for second after a slow start at Leicester in August. He has been gelded since and could have more to offer in handicap company over a new trip.
RACQUET (3.40) lost his way after two wins last summer but got back to winning ways at Wetherby last time and a 3lb rise still leaves him on a good mark. He will make a bold bid in the 5f handicap.
OCEAN GALE (8.20) produced a career-best here last time out and looks sure to go well again in the finale.
Richard Price’s mare was placed in her first two starts of the campaign and appreciated the return to 2m recently, hitting the front with three furlongs to go and staying on powerfully to hold off Unblinking.
That was on soft ground, but last summer’s win at Salisbury shows she is just as effective in less testing conditions and she can beat The Way You Dance.
Micky Hammond’s ROCKLIFFE (2.00) was well beaten on soft ground in December but has enjoyed quicker conditions in his last two starts.
He saw off subsequent winner Our Lucas at Musselburgh before following up at the expense of Fort Jefferson in a heat similar to this over course and distance last month.
He remains unexposed after just seven hurdles so could easily complete a hat-trick despite another 6lb rise in the weights.
BORAK (2.50) was off the track for a year before running at Taunton last month, but that was a solid effort as he stayed on for third behind all-the-way winner Ice Tres despite suffering trouble in running as he attempted to make his way through the pack.
Bernard Llewellyn’s six-year-old meets his old rival on 8lb better terms in this 1m7f65yds handicap hurdle and should be able to gain revenge if that outing has done him good.
GLOBAL DOMINATION (5.30) spent 690 days on the sidelines after striking on New Year’s Day in 2016, but he has shown that the ability remains with several solid efforts since his return to action, notably when scoring at Fakenham last time out.
Caroline Bailey’s gelding wouldn’t want the ground to dry out too much but he has been raised only 3lb for that.
A win at Southwell before his layoff proves that the track holds no fears.
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