In the 3.30 at Warwick on Thursday, Surtee Du Berlais had her limitations exposed, to an extent, at Taunton late last year, but her previous 5-length beating of Tara Flow at Uttoxeter in November reads well in light of the subsequent exploits of the runner-up and she can return to winning ways. She has her stamina to prove over 2 miles 5 furlongs, but still appears the one to beat, despite a double penalty.
In the 3.50 at Southwell, Final made a promising debut on Fibresand when staying on well to finish second, beaten 1½ lengths, behind Llewellyn over 7 furlongs last week and, with the step up to a mile almost certainly in his favour, can get off the mark for the season. Mark Johnston’s 4-year-old didn’t see a racecourse until last February, so remains open to significant improvement after just three career starts. The Middleham Moor trainer has a very healthy 17-63 (27%) strike rate with his older horses at Southwell over the last five seasons and stable jockey Joe Fanning heads to the Nottinghamshire track for just one ride on the day, so Final appears to have plenty going for him.
Selections: Warwick 3.30 Surtee Du Berlais, Southwell 3.50 Final (1-point Win Double)