Andy Holding has two tips for today's racing, including a NAP at Southwell.
TIRMIZI (best price 6-1) has intimated on his last two starts that he’s not a million miles away from shedding the maiden tag at this venue, so providing he breaks well from stall one and holds a good position in the early stages, there’s a decent chance he can prove the pick of the three Micky Halford-trained runners.
A three-times winner in total, the son of Sea The Stars had gone through a period of rather humdrum performances, largely on the turf, but a return to the Co Louth track seems to have rekindled a little bit of his spark and its certainly given him a foundation from which to build. A slow start here back in November immediately put him on the back foot, but the fact he managed to work himself into a position of credit at the end of the 1m4f journey strongly hinted better times ahead. Building on that effort even further, the eight-year-old went two places better on his return visit just before the Christmas break when keeping on well in the closing stages behind the in-form pair, Hannon and Scholastic and with the latter going on to score readily here since, the form looks reasonably strong. Back over a more suitable distance and with the opposition in general not exactly setting too many pulses racing, career win number four wouldn’t come as the biggest surprise in the world.
GOSSIP (NAP) (best price 9-4) has shown a distinct liking to tonight’s fibresand surface since making her debut here a month ago and having defied a potentially tricky draw to record her second success in her last three starts, Scott Dixon’s filly can strike again at her happy hunting ground.
A 66-1 outsider when arriving at the Midland venue after a 137-day break, the daughter of Exceed And Excel made a mockery of those lofty odds by lowering the colours of several in-form rivals and the time figure also suggested there was nothing fluky about the result. Not quite seeing out the six-furlong trip when turned out quickly here next time, the four-year-old returned to the winner’s enclosure back over the straight five eight days ago and considering she overcame the highest draw of all right up the stands side rail in doing so, her performance deserved upgrading. Nicely drawn right down the middle on her return visit, a good break should see the four-year-old competitive throughout.