Fanshawe says Tapeta is top for Southwell's new all-weather surface

James Fanshawe hailed Southwell's new Tapeta surface as his Viola took the feature on Tuesday. The Nottinghamshire track has used Fibresand since 1989 but officials decided to make an upgrade.

Newmarket trainer James Fanshawe was totally complimentary about Southwell's new Tapeta surface after 9/2 shot Viola won the Winter Oaks Trial Fillies' Handicap.

Fibresand had been in place at the Nottinghamshire venue since 1989, but that was removed following racing on August 15 and replaced with the new surface.

Multiple Group One-winning trainer Fanshawe views the switch as a huge positive.

He told Sky Sports Racing: “It’s been a great move. The track is obviously going to take a bit of settling in, but for Southwell to have invested in a new surface is absolutely great.

“It’s a lot closer for us than some of the other Tapeta tracks. I haven’t got that many to run on the all-weather, but I’ll definitely be having some runners here.

“It’s not just the surface – it’s a very well laid out track with the surface as well.”

With a total prize fund of £40,000 up for grabs, a field of seven runners went to post for the Watch Racing Free Online At Coral Winter Oaks Trial Fillies’ Handicap.

Roger Varian’s Timeless Soul was the 3-1 favourite, while Ed Dunlop saddled Virgin Snow – a daughter of his brilliant racemare Snow Fairy.

The Mark Johnston-trained Alba Rose, a half-sister to Gold Cup winner Subjectivist and high-class stablemate Sir Ron Priestley, also faced the starter – but it was the Fanshawe runner that prevailed.

Ridden by Daniel Muscutt, Viola was a 9-2 chance off the back of finishing third in Listed company at Lingfield in October and knuckled down to see off Alba Rose by a length and three-quarters.

The winner could now be targeted at the Coral Winter Oaks at Lingfield in January, although Fanshawe admits a drop back in distance from a mile and a half to a mile and a quarter might not be ideal.

He added: “It’s always difficult to know where you are with fillies at this time of year because they should be hibernating, but she’s really tough this filly.

“She’s been very consistent and obviously enjoyed the surface tonight. It was a good prize.

“She’s got a bit of class, so we’ll just have to see how she is. She’s got a good record round Lingfield, but ideally she wants a mile and a half or a mile and six – she stays.”