3.45pm Warwick – Nietzsche 1pt Win (9/1)
Recent form figures of 6000 don’t look very inspiring for Nietzsche, but he hasn’t had things in his favour and today looks different. Going back to his juvenile hurdling days, he beat Project Bluebook before gaining a pair of handicap successes (the latter off a mark of 123, races off 125 today). His third in the Fred Winter at the Cheltenham Festival off 130 was a career best but things haven’t quite clicked since then. However, he has been keeping much better company than he faces today and this drop in class back on a sound surface could be exactly what he needs. 12lbs lower than when sixth in the Greatwood in November, a big run could be on the cards with Bryony Frost in the saddle for the first time.
6.05pm Southwell – Plaisir D’Amour 2pts Win (13/2)
A lot of Venetia Williams’ horses are pigeon-holed as ‘mud lovers’, but that certainly isn’t the case for Plaisir D’Amour who loves top of the ground and proved that when winning a Listed Mares Handicap Chase off this mark at Cheltenham in April of last year. She followed that up with a close fifth at Sandown on the final day of the jumps season off 7lbs higher, but hasn’t been able to reproduce that form since. Soft ground has been an excuse though and her best effort came at Perth last time out when tried at this trip for the first time. A return to this better surface will definitely suit and with Daryl Jacob going to Southwell for just the one ride, everything looks in place for a big run.
7.25pm Kempton – Dash Of Spice 3pts Win (9/4)
This looks a golden opportunity for David Elsworth’s charge to get his head back in front. Second to Ajman King on two of his last three starts, that is strong form given the talent that horse possesses and having only been raised 1lb for his length defeat at Epsom on reappearance last time (Thundering Blue who was fifth, has won since), Dash Of Spice can take advantage of the handicappers leniency. His sole win came on the all-weather, Silvestre De Sousa is in great form and the fact that Dash Of Spice is a full-brother to a mile and half winner and also a half-brother to the Dam of the Group 1 Juddmonte International winner Arabian Queen, this step up in trip promises to suit.