‘Deadly’ Double, Thursday, December 17

‘Deadly’ Double, Thursday, December 17  Fibresand, the racing surface at Southwell, is deeper and looser than Polytrack (Chelmsford, Kempton) and Tapeta (Wolverhampton) and horses that run well on it once often do so over and over again. With this in mind, we’ve selected two horses with previous winning form at the Nottinghamshire track for our ‘deadly’ double this week.

Our first selection is Patriotic in the Ladbrokes Handicap (2.30). The Pivotal gelding hasn’t won for nearly a year, but is consequently 3lb lower in the weights than when winning over course and distance last December. Indeed, he wasn’t beaten far in a much better race, off an 8lb higher mark, on his last visit to Southwell in January, so makes no little appeal from a handicapping point-of-view.

Our second selection is Countermand in the Coral Mobile Just Three Clicks to Bet Handicap (3.30). The Authorized gelding made his first visit to Southwell a winning one, when staying on well to beat Rebel Collins by 11 lengths and, with the runner-up winning by a wide margin at Wolverhampton three days later, the form looks even stronger than it did at the time. Andrew Balding’s 3-year-old steps back into handicap company off a 5lb higher mark, but could still be open to significant improvement over middle distances.

Selections: Southwell 2.30 Patriotic, Southwell 3.30 Countermand (win double)