Thursday Southwell top racing tip: Thunder Gap set to storm home

Tipstrr horse racing expert Steve Jones has been scanning today's cards for top value, and has picked out his best bet from this afternoon's all-weather meeting at Southwell.

Jostling for position at the head of the market are the likes of the Uther Pendragon, whose recent victory in an even weaker handicap on polytrack was his first win since June 2020, while the course and distance win of All About Alice also came in a very weak classified stakes, since when she has been unplaced in three straight 0-55 handicaps. 

Their market support adds value to current favourite Thunder Gap, who has had two extended breaks from the track, and is therefore very lightly-raced for his age with just six previous outings, only two of which were on the all-weather.

After three outings as a three-year-old, he had only one run during the whole of last year and was subsequently off the track for another 502 days, only reappearing at this venue in September this year.

15:03 (Southwell) Thunder Gap

He clearly needed that run, but it was significant how he was backed down from 12/1 to 13/2 in the last few minutes before the start, suggesting connections believed a good run was imminent.

That confidence was justified further on the Newcastle tapeta in October, when Thunder Gap was again backed from 28/1 to 14/1 close to the off, and he duly finished second of twelve in what was a much stronger handicap than today's over a more testing ten furlongs.

Eight of his rivals that day were rated 58-64, significantly higher than today's opposition, and the winning favourite, Wolf Of Oxshott, had previously finished runner-up to Peripeteia, who also saw off nine rivals in a stronger Class 5 handicap over the same course and distance two runs later.

The horses that finished around Thunder Gap in that Newcastle handicap were clearly a lot stronger than those he faces here, so, after another little break, a similar effort off just 2lbs higher will make him very hard to beat from his middle draw.

Jockey Tom Queally has eight wins from 29 rides for Tom Tate, so everything points to Thunder Gap looking good value to progress even further.

  • Next Best: Selfish Brian

A solid next-best is Selfish Brian, who should go well as he drops back in trip following a solid fourth of thirteen in stronger company on Wolverhampton's tight left-handed tapeta track.

This trip looks well suited, he is proven on the surface, and while stall 10 is not ideal, this is a weaker handicap than his last two, and he has to be a big player on just his third run for Nigel Tinkler, especially now he has been dropped 2lbs for two good runs in better races.

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