Monday All-Weather tips – best bets at Southwell and Wolverhampton

All-weather expert Jack Haylett looks through Monday’s all-weather cards for his top tips at Southwell and Wolverhampton.

National Anthem (12.55 Southwell)

Clearly not everything has gone to plan with National Anthem, having made the track for only the third time just ten days ago now aged five. But he could hardly have been any more impressive than when making all for a visually stunning victory that day. Having broke well he was sent to the lead, and from there he never saw another rival. Off an absence that was particularly impressive as he seemed to set a very strong pace, and he was ultimately able to have the race sewn up without needing to come off the bridle.
Okay it is easy to argue the form of the race wasn’t much, but I firmly believe that was a very impressive performance and having been allotted a handicap mark of 75 I’m happy to play him in handicap company. He drops back in trip now, which if anything looks likely to suit given the gallop he was able to set so easily last time, and he is clearly well suited to the track.
For the grade this is probably a reasonable enough race, but I’d be hopeful of him improving again as a I expect National Anthem may prove better yet. The favourite is there to be taken on and the selection is the clear stand-out amongst the rest.

Raymond Tusk (5.50 Wolverhampton)

In some good all-weather races, it pays to simply side with the best horse in the race, and that is what I have done in picking Raymond Tusk here. In my mind there is no doubt about him being the clear standout amongst the field, and I was very impressed by the willing attitude he showed when holding the now re-opposing Funny Kid last time.
Meeting on the same terms now, I see no reason for that form to be overturned, if anything I would be hopeful of the winning margin being extended. I think improvement is likely, as when last seen he was not long back from a rather disappointing trip to Australia for the Melbourne Cup, and having now changed plans to be campaigned in the all-weather staying division you can be sure connections will have left a bit to work on throughout the winter.
It would be a big surprise were any of the other three runners able to mount a challenge, as whilst nice horses in their own right, they lack the class of the main pair. Raymond Tusk therefore can be classed as a very confident selection, and whilst even money is on the shorter end of prices I’m happy to back at, I would be very surprised if we don’t collect!

Sha La La La Lee (6.20 Wolverhampton)

I’m a big fan of this gelded son of Helmet, and I find it very interesting connections are choosing him to up him in distance now. He is clearly not short of speed, but with his best performances coming having made all then I think he may be well suited to running at this longer distance. In this particular field there is very little pace on paper, so Richard Kingscote, a top-notch rider, may be able to dictate his own fractions and he will take some beating.
That said he does bring a big concern, that being his tendency to miss the kick; with three of his last four runs being at Chester then doing so simply renders him no chance from the gates, so his disappointing form figures are easily looked past. Having been given a break I’d be hopeful trainer Tom Dascombe will have put him through the stalls a few times to sharpen him up for this, as if fit for the return and breaking well he would be the one to beat.
Having won from this mark in the past he resumes in a very winnable race, and at 6/1 I think he is well worth a play – if he gets the lead he’ll trade a lot shorter immediately!