Sport

Southfield Stone is a specialist in dry conditions … and Kempton offers him the chance to show it off

Southfield Stone is a specialist in dry conditions and has the perfect opportunity to add to his five wins at Kempton this weekend

  • Southfield Stone and Harry Cobden will try to make the most of the dry soil
  • The eight-year-old has won five of his seven races on good ground or faster
  • Kendergarten Kop plays at Lingfield before Father of Jazz takes on Felix

Dry conditions at Kempton will come as a surprise to many in today’s Close Brothers Handicap Chase, but SOUTHFIELD STONE (Kempton, 3.35) should be in its element.

It seems a while ago that ‘good’ appeared in a common description for national yacht racing, and this afternoon’s conditions may well capitalize on the strengths of the selection, which appears to need a firmer surface to deliver its best form.

Southfield Stone has raced on good terrain seven times or faster, winning five of those starts and finishing second twice, while his record of right-handed tracks can also be read with form scores of 311132122121.

Southfield Stone should like the unusually dry conditions in Kempton on Saturday

Southfield Stone should like the unusually dry conditions in Kempton on Saturday

Southfield Stone should like the unusually dry conditions in Kempton on Saturday

Two forays over obstacles in Kempton, coincidentally with the last two extensions of this meeting, led to a victory in the Grade Two Dovecote Novices ‘Hurdle and a brave second for Who Dares Wins in the Pendil Novices’ Chase, when he demonstrated his tendency for floating to the left at his gates.

For a horse with such an excellent track record as right-handed racing, it is a strange trait, as most evidence suggests the trait would hinder, rather than help, Southfield Stone’s cause. Harry Cobden will be fully aware of the eight-year-old’s running style and the duo will have a good try from the front.

Admittedly, the roster’s stamina at three miles has yet to be proven, but his mother won a bumper over two and a half miles and was closely related to the Hennessy Gold Cup winner Chatham, so there are reasons for optimism.

Lingfield hosts their Winter Derby card with a small but select field for the feature race.

Father Of Jazz (second from left) will face a tough opponent in Felix in the 2.40 at Lingfield

It seems difficult to separate Felix and Father Of Jazz (Lingfield, 2.40), with a slight preference for the latter, despite the tight price, as last time he showed a sharp turn of his foot around a course. – and distance handicap and seems to be progressing at a high speed of knots.

Earlier on the card, there seems to be a plea to back Kendergarten Kop (Lingfield, nap, 11.45) in the opener.

The six-year-old put in a great performance at Kempton for over a mile during the week, winning at Lingfield for Christmas when he quickly returned to the track after a promising run.

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