Paul Mulrennan needs one more winner to record a career-best tally of 107

Race of the Day on Sky Sports Racing: Paul Mulrennan can steer Anif to another all-weather win at Southwell | Racing News

Two Race of the Day selections have already landed this week and Alan Thomson returns with a close look at a wide-open handicap at Southwell on Friday, live on Sky Sports Racing.

THE GROUNDWORK

The hardy Sky Sports Racing outside broadcasting crew head to chilly Southwell on Friday where the 14-runner Spreadex Sports Get 50 In Bonuses Handicap (4.25) is the best betting contest on the card.

The advanced going report is standard to slow and in-form Ivan Furtado and Joey Haynes teamed up to record a double here on Tuesday, coming on the back of a Wolverhampton success four days earlier.

In today’s featured race, Surprise Picture usually races prominently and may spearhead a field which is littered with late closers.

LEADING FANCIES

Letmelivemylife (stall 11)

Has had four different trainers in the last 14 months and the gelding makes his debut for Sean Curran. The four-year-old was last seen running fifth to Equiano Springs at Newmarket 126 days ago, never recovering from a slow break. Would have a chance if able to rediscover the form of his Wolverhampton victory in March 2021 off a 4lb loftier perch, so market signals are worth monitoring.

Anif (9)

One of two Michael Herrington runners and Anif, a four-time Newcastle winner, has taken well to a recent change of environment at Southwell, scoring over today’s course and distance in mid-November before posting a respectable third to Ron O when stepped up to a mile last Friday. His hold-up style of racing suits canny Paul Mulrennan and Anif should be one of the last off the bridle.

War In Heaven (3)

Won off this mark at Lingfield back in February for Andrew Balding but was switched to Mick Appleby on the back of two modest subsequent efforts at Goodwood and Sandown. His shrewd connections do well with these types and War In Heaven has been eased another couple of pounds on the back of his eighth to Pockley at Newcastle earlier this month (bumped start).

War In Heaven and David Probert win on day two of The Winter Million Festival at Lingfield
Image:
War In Heaven and David Probert win on day two of The Winter Million Festival at Lingfield

One More Dream (10)

Has proved a revelation for John Quinn since undergoing a wind procedure, rattling off a hat-trick of victories before the sequence was broken at Wolverhampton. One More Dream was drawn wide on that occasion and could never quite get to grips with re-opposing Bobby Joe Leg. His latest Lingfield fourth to Starshiba nine days ago can also be marked up a little, as another wide draw proved no help. Appears to be holding his form and is one for the shortlist.

Yoshimi (2)

Produced a solid third to Eligible from the widest draw over course and distance in October and is 3lb better off with the winner. Michael Herrington’s grey held off consistent Granary Girl at Chelmsford City a fortnight later and drew the widest berth when moved up in class at Wolverhampton last time, making little impression after being bumped at the start. Returns from a break of almost four weeks and Yoshimi, a dual Musselburgh winner for previous trainer Richard Fahey, is one of the more interesting each-way contenders.

Eligible (8)

Won under today’s rider Joanna Mason at Pontefract in May but Paul Mulrennan was on top for Eligible’s next success over course and distance in October. Mick Easterby’s gelding is generally held up and would be one to appreciate an honest end-to-end gallop. Was raised 6lb for that victory and wasn’t so good in a six-furlong amateur riders’ contest at Newcastle when last seen 31 days ago. This 71-rating demands more but winning course form is a positive.

Eligible ridden by Paul Mulrennan (right) on their way to winning the Spreadex Sports Best Premier League Odds Handicap at Southwell
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Eligible, ridden by Mulrennan (right), on the way to winning the Spreadex Sports Best Premier League Odds Handicap at Southwell

Sycamore (5)

Failed to ignite in six starts for Noel Meade but soon rewarded new connections by scoring for the Scott Dixon yard over a mile here in January. Not so good at big prices since returning from a 282-day absence and has ground to make up on a few of today’s rivals.

Marayel (1)

One to keep an eye on now having his first start for Sean Lycett. The three-year-old started off life in France before joining Hilal Kobeissi, posting an excellent 100/1 fourth to in-form Double Time at Chelmsford City. Third horse Dinoo won next time at Wolverhampton and Marayel may have improved following wind surgery.

Give A Little Back (12)

Twice placed, at Wolverhampton and Thirsk, for previous handler Kevin Philippart De Foy and has produced a couple of respectable midfield efforts for new trainer Sean Curran. The booking of Kevin Stott is a positive and market vibes are worth monitoring now dropped 2lb.

Bobby Joe Leg (7)

One of the market principals. Ruth Carr’s gelding was completing a hat-trick when scoring under Joanna Mason at Wolverhampton last month and runner-up Ower Starlight gave the form a solid look by winning at Lingfield on Monday. Jimmy Sullivan was on top when Bobby Joe Leg was pipped by Martin’s Brig over course and distance last Friday and keeps the mount.

THE VERDICT

ANIF appears quite a sure-footed selection (famous last words), with several firms offering four each-way places. He was strong at the finish when beating well-fancied Dancinginthewoods and 80-rated Tothenines over course and distance last month.

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