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After year exile Mark Johnston-trained horse back in charge
Sir Frank Morgan, who spent the whole of last year on the sidelines, has proved a revelation since returning to action this season and can make a successful journey from his North Yorkshire base to Southwell today.
Trained at Middleham by Mark Johnston, the four-year-old bids for a hat-trick of wins in the 32Red on The App Stone Handicap with Joe Fanning in the saddle.
Having failed to cut much ice in three juvenile outings on turf, Sir Frank Morgan failed to appear on a racecourse in 2013, but his two performances this term, both at Wolverhampton, have resulted in decisive victories.
A 6lb penalty may not be enough to halt his progress this afternoon as he aims to complete a clean sheet this season. He carries the nap vote.
Johnston, who has his horses in flying form as the turf campaign prepares to spring into life, can also win the 32Red Burning Desire Slot Maiden Stakes with Tarrafal, also the mount of Fanning.
Unraced last season, Tarrafal has finished in the money in both his starts this term and went down by only a head to Anipa at Wolverhampton on his latest start.
He now needs to cope with the switch to Fibresand, but there is every chance he can cope well enough to clinch this modest-looking event.
Alan King, better known for his exploits as a powerful trainer of jumpers, also does pretty well with his small team of Flat horses and he appears to have found a good opportunity for Ridegway Storm in the Coral Maiden Stakes.
Tom Queally's mount showed promise when finishing fourth in a six-strong field at Newmarket last August on his only start to date.
He is difficult to judge accurately, but he looks the type to come into his own this season and this looks a good opportunity for him. Andrew Balding's unraced From Frost may represent the biggest danger.
The £9,000 32Red Thuderstruck ll Slot Handicap is the most valuable race on the Southwell card and Queally may be in for another winning ride on Noguchi.
Trained by George Margarson and a winner here last month, Noguchi, despite being a nine-year-old, has leading claims.
Also worth noting are the speedy Dancing Freddy (3.25), who goes well on this track, and Alumina (5.35), who is bidding for a five-timer for Andrew Balding with Jack Garritty, son of former leading North Yorkshire jump jockey, Russ Garritty, in the saddle.
At Fontwell, trainer Gary Moore and his jockey son Jamie, still buzzing from their Champion Chase victory at the Cheltenham Festival with Sire De Grugy, can capture the 32Red For Microgaming Games Handicap Chase.
A Lingfield winner in January 2013, Dynamic Idol was off for a year before returning to finish second to Nozic at Plumpton. That comeback outing should have had its benefits and Dynamic Idol should take plenty of beating this time.
Midnight Minx is entitled to go well in the Play Tomb Raider At 32Red Mares' Maiden Hurdle.
Although she was a beaten favourite on her hurdles bow at Ffos Las in October, Midnight Minx has not been seen out since which suggests she may have had a problem after that race.
Spin back to her previous form and she was a triple winner in bumpers. She should not be written off yet and is fancied to bounce back here for trainer Anthony Honeyball and rider Rachel Green.
Comfortable Exeter winner Arthur's Oak (3-10) and the consistent Sablazo (4-55), who is equipped with headgear for the first time, are two others to consider.
2.20 Hail Promenader, 2.50 Ridgeway Storm, 3.25 Dancing Freddy, 4.00 Tarrafal, 4.35 Noguchi, 5.05 Sir Frank Morgan (NAP), 5.35 Alumina.
2.10 Miss Mayfair, 2.40 Dynamic Idol, 3.10 Arthur’s Oak, 3.45 Smart Exit, 4.20 Midnight Minx, 4.55 Sablazo, 5.25 Go Odee Go.
Today’s other meeting: Chepstow.
Tomorrow’s meetings: Lingfield, Southwell and Kempton.
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