Friday Southwell top racing tip: So Grateful to produce the goods again on his favourite track

With turf racing still decimated by the current cold snap, Tipstrr's racing expert Steve Jones has been scanning Friday's cards for course and distance all-weather specialists.

Of the early market leaders, Pockley has four wins from eight runs at his favoured Newcastle track, but has not won any of his 23 runs at twelve other courses, while Twilight Madness is a six-furlong specialist whose only win over today's minimum trip also came on the uphill track at Newcastle.

This track very much favours the prominent racing sprinters, whilst those with less early speed often have their performance affected by significant kickback.

Of the four events to take place over this course and distance so far this month, two have been won by front-runners (one of which was at 25/1) and another by a prominent racer.

The likeliest front-runner in this field has to be La Roca Del Fuego, who looks a good next-best option after making all to win at Chelmsford two weeks ago. He has won a total of four sprint handicaps from the front, the last three of which were over five furlongs.

He hasn't run here before but the Southwell track should suit his style and he might take some pegging back, even though he is now 4lbs above his top winning mark.

One who can stay in touch is the course specialist, So Grateful, who will be ideally suited by chasing a fast pace and he has won here over six furlongs (twice) as well as today's shorter trip.

14:35 (Southwell) So Grateful

Three easy wins from his four visits to this track so far this year included a stronger Class 4 handicap than this one, which he won by almost two lengths from thirteen runners who were generally rated higher than today's rivals.

A bit keen over the longer trip that day, So Grateful hit the front approaching the final furlong and quickly went clear to win very easily from Badri, who has since won a 13-runner Class 3 handicap by over two lengths.

Although that course win was over six furlongs, it is very strong form indeed for the track, and So Grateful followed it up by winning a five-furlong handicap carrying five pounds more, in which he also had the luxury of being eased down in the closing stages.

Indeed, the only time this Easterby-trained gelding has been beaten on this track this year was when he was unable to recover from being impeded at the start, and now up just a pound, he is in the form to make it four out of five for the year at this venue.

The likely fast pace set by La Roca Del Fuego should give him the ideal tow into the race and his six-furlong stamina will be brought into play in the closing stages, so he has plenty going for him under Joanna Mason, who has ridden him to all three of his previous course wins.

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