There is a horse declared for the Badger Ales Trophy at Wincanton who if returning to his best looks absolutely thrown in.
SOUTHFIELD ROYALE was 4th in a red hot renewal of the four miler won by Minella Rocco with Native River second. He looks best on his first two runs of the season and a five week break thereafter. Before last season his form under such conditions read 11212114 with the first 2nd behind War Sound in a novice hurdle when trying to concede that rival a stone in weight, and the other runner-up berth coming when going down by half a length to Twelve Roses over a probably inadequate trip at Exeter. As mentioned he was 4th in a red hot renewal of the four mile chase in 2016. He was actually highly rated enough to go for a Grade 1 at Punchestown and was sent off as short as 4/1.
He didn’t reappear until January last year suggesting something was amiss and Mulholland said he’d had one or two niggles, and his season subsequently bombed with form figures of 0F0 (although he was going well in the Kim Muir before falling). As a result he now runs off a mark of 138, and the fact he is back out at this time of year must give hope that they have ironed out whatever issues he was having last year and had a smoother preparation. He looks dangerously handicapped on his best form (was also 2nd to Tea For Two in Grade 1 at Kempton), and goes well fresh.
I’ve rated him in the mid-150s previously and a price of 12/1 is worth paying to find out if he’s back on track. Mulholland “won” this with The Young Master a few years back before disqualification and has had a 3rd and 5th place the last two years. There is rain due to hit the track but he is versatile with regards to the ground with wins on good and heavy.