13.30 Leicester

STIGWOOD (best price 12-1) only beat one horse home at Sandown on his debut, but his final finishing position only tells half the story and he’s worth another chance to show he’s much better than the bare form suggests.

Sent off an unconsidered 20-1 chance at the Esher track, the son of Kodiac was moving much better than his odds suggested approaching the final two furlongs, but just when he was about to launch what looked an extremely promising challenge, he ended up getting no run whatsoever and he was subsequently eased right down and allowed to come home in his own time. Where he would have finished is anyone’s guess, but there’s enough reason to believe he would have played some sort of role given how well he was travelling at the time and hailing from a yard whose debutantes often improve significantly for their initial outings, Eve Johnson Houghton’s colt is fancied to easily outrun his morning odds.

Stigwood - 0.5pts e/w @ 12/1

14.15 Southwell

TIDAL WATCH (best price 3-1) has a bit to find with both Azzuri and Issac Wonder on their clash over today’s C&D a month ago, but he’s subsequently gone on to show the benefit from that initial run with a promising effort at Newton Abbot last time out and he can go a long way to bridging the gap between himself and his old rivals on his return to the Midland venue. 

Shaping as though badly in need of the outing after a 255-day break, he palpably got tired in the closing stages after looking a threat turning for home and with that run under his belt, he was able to finish off his race to much better effect at the West Country venue three weeks later when he was noted closing in on his two main market rivals, Beat The Judge and Ashutor, on the run-in. Fitted with first-time tongue tie 17 days ago, the new contraption certainly didn’t do the son of Harbour Watch any harm, and with another sound pace looking most likely courtesy of the free-going Azzuri once again in the field (Adrrastos and Theflyingportrait don’t normally hold back either), he should get all the assistance he needs to regaining the winning thread.

Tidal Watch - 1pt @ 3/1

15.45 Southwell

PURPLE KING (NAP) (best price 7-2) may have let down those who supported him into 11-8 favouritism at Perth last time out, but the time figure of the race at the Scottish track suggested he did precious little wrong and he looks to have a decent opportunity of recouping loses at a venue where he’s gone well in the past. 

Returning to action following 229-day break, Dr Newland’s gelding was all the rage in the betting beforehand, strongly suggesting connections believed he was a well-handicapped horse, and for the large majority of the race 20 days ago he looked like he was going to live up to his star billing. Unfortunately, however, the son of Lope De Vega couldn’t cope with the turn of foot supplied by Golden Town on the run-in and he had to settle for the runner-up berth, but with the pair well clear and all the post-race data suggesting the race was above-average for the grade, he should be marked up rather than down for his effort. Runner-up to the very smart hurdler Pacify (rated 142) over today’s C&D last season, the six-year-old had one of today’s main rivals, Calvanist, 30 lengths back in fourth, and with conditions to suit and a likely decent pace to tow him along nicely into the business end, there’s no reason why he won’t be bang there at the finish.

Purple King - 1pt e/w @ 7/2