General Tufto hoping for repeat success on Southwell return

Liam Keniry

Liam Keniry

First published in Sport Gazette & Herald: Photograph of the Author by , Racing journalist

General Tufto makes a return visit to his favourite venue this afternoon and is assured of a warm reception should he make it into the winners’ enclosure yet again.

Trained in Lincolnshire by Charles Smith, the veteran performer has had a love affair with Southwell for some time and has chalked up no fewer than 11 course wins, the latest of which was achieved on New Year’s Day.

Shrugging-off the fact he was officially celebrating his ninth birthday, General Tufto got up to score by a neck in a popular victory for the stalwart performer.

He will probably need to produce an even better effort to defy a 6lb penalty in the Ladbrokes Mobile Handicap but, with 7lb claimer Jordan Vaughan in the saddle, General Tufto is fancied to take his Southwell tally to a dozen wins.

Mr Burbidge will be a popular choice in the opening Coral App Download From The App Store Handicap.

Trainer Neil Mulholland may be better known for his exploits with jumpers, but he has done a sterling job with this staying handicapper by placing him to complete a four-timer on this course last week.

That success was gained by an emphatic eight lengths from Yasir and although Mr Burbidge reverts from two miles to a mile and a half here, which is not exactly in his favour, he will be hard to beat under a 6lb penalty. Liam Keniry has the mount.

Excel Best is yet another runner at today’s meeting with excellent prospects of defying a penalty for a recent course win.

Trained at Newmarket by James Tate, the three-year-old scooted home by six lengths when blinkered for the first time last week. The headgear has been retained and Paddy Aspell is again in the saddle. An encore looks likely.

Also worth noting are the promising maiden Abbotsfield (2.40) and previous course-and-distance winner Mucky Molly (3.15), both of whom will be partnered by Graham Lee.

Conditions will be very testing at Leicester’s jumping fixture, but Lucy Wadham will not be complaining if, as expected, she comes away with two winners.

The Newmarket trainer saddles nap selection Le Reve in the Leicester Annual Members Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase and the gelding will find this easier than recent assignments.

A well-beaten third of four behind the high-class Sam Winner at Cheltenham on his latest start, Le Reve had previously unseated his rider in Grade 2 company at Newbury. Although he is still prone to the occasional jumping error, Le Reve has enough ability to clinch a race of this nature.

Wadham also runs Rasheed in the Groby Novices’ Handicap Chase and Leighton Aspell’s mount should go well. He was a good second at Market Rasen last time and looks to be running into form.

Venetia Williams can do little wrong at present and she can add to the four winners she saddled on Sunday at Plumpton with Santo Thomas, who is coming to his peak after two runs following a lengthy absence. He lines up in the concluding Chieftain Handicap Hurdle.


Racing selections

Southwell today 12.30 Mr Burbidge, 1.00 Jawaab, 1.35 Excel Best, 2.10 Piceno, 2.40 Abbotsfield, 3.15 Mucky Molly, 3.45 General Tufto.

Leicester today 12.45 Milo Man, 1.15 Stow, 1.50 Le Reve (NAP), 2.25 Carli King, 2.55 Rasheed, 3.30 Santo Thomas.

• The meeting at Chepstow has been abandoned due to a waterlogged track.

Tomorrow’s meetings: Doncaster, Kempton, Lingfield and Ludlow.

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