December 16 Racing Tips and Odds: Roger Varian’s Poet to be writ large at Southwell

Planet Sport have some Christmas crackers at Exeter, Ffos Las and Southwell on Thursday, December 16. Roger Varian is ready to write himself into the Southwell script.

Just click on the links below to place a wager with Planet Sport Bet.

Great Ocean (12.30 Exeter)

Honorary Colonel (13.15 Ffos Las)

Lydford Lad (13.50 Ffos Las)

Maskada (14.15 Exeter)

Poet (15.40 Southwell)

Louie De Palma (16.15 Southwell)

Down to Exeter to start and a Philip Hobbs runner with potential. Let's "sea" what this one can do.

12.30 Exeter - Great Ocean

For some reason, despite being a fixture in the jumps racing scene, Philip Hobbs seems to go under the radar and Great Ocean can sneak in here.

A second at Southwell behind Dan Skelton's Lydford was no disgrace, being beaten by only one and a half lengths.

That Southwell performance saw the five-year-old stay on which should suit the extra half a furlong on Thursday.

In opposition, Nicky Henderson's well bred Horn Cape contested a Class 1 bumper at Newbury, won by the useful Good Risk At All and it would be no surprise to see him run well on reappearance.

14.15 Exeter - Maskada

Stuart Edmunds' Maskada is still chasing a first win this side of January after a succession of places finishes.

The last time out second in a listed mares' novices' chase to the Glancing Queen was reasonable and the Masked Marvel mare got to within a length and three quarters of Alan King's charge.

The step down to Class 3 will be a bonus and Maskada can finally begin to start putting together a run after beating this small field.

Harry Fry's Pure Bliss won a nice mares' hurdle at Punchestown in May and can do well on her chase debut.

13.15 Ffos Las - Honorary Colonel

Another Planet Sport Philip Hobbs pick comes in the form of Honorary Colonel, who is heading the right way after two seconds on the spin.

Of course, the five-year-old was a distant runner-up to Faire Part Sivola on his penultimate start at Ffos Las after pecking on landing but was in turn 16 lengths clear of third placed Kuraka.

The deficit to first place was reduced to four and a quarter lengths last time out at Lingfield behind Team Skelton's Seven No Trumps.

Ben Jones gets the leg up, with Honorary Colonel capable of stealing a march on the opposition.

Jonjo O'Neill's Ashfield Paddy has gone over further than two miles five furlongs and his stamina could come into play on heavy going at Ffos Las.

13.50 Ffos Las - Lydford Lad

The fledgling Jack Barber training operation has strong links to Paul Nicholls with Lydford Lad formerly handled by the Ditcheat heavyweight and the horse co-owned by Nicholls' landlord Paul Barber.

Wind surgery seemed to have done the trick when Lydford Lad won over course and distance last time out, battling on for a half length win from Tim Vaughan's Airtothethrone.

That maiden hurdle win is crucial experience for this novice field and Lydford Lad can follow up under Nick Scholfield.

Tim Vaughan's Dalamoi is a course winner and can go close again.

15.40 Southwell - Poet

Roger Varian is on fire on the all-weather with both Tyrrhenian Sea and Sound Angela winning in recent days at Newcastle and Lingfield.

Poet won last time out at Kempton over Thursday's six furlong distance, producing a well-timed run to see off Red Showgirl by a head.

The two-year-old sent from Newmarket has Jack Mitchell on board and may well have more in the tank.

Tom Dascombe's Skittlebombz can put up a sweet surprise if getting luck in running after a last time out second at Newcastle.

16.15 Southwell - Louie De Palma

Sprint expert Clive Cox sends Louie De Palma to Southwell on the back of a three-quarter of a length win on heavy going in a Class 3 at Newbury over the distance.

Obviously a versatile performer, the nine-year-old also tasted victory on good to firm ground at Windsor in August and the switch to Tapeta should prove workable.

John Fahey takes the reins with Cox's veteran capable of seeing out the year with another win.

Jonathan Fisher takes a useful five pounds off Invincible Larne who can give Louie De Palma something to think about.

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