Turf Talk: Southfield Royale flushed with scent of Scottish National potential

Southfield Royale ridden by Noel Fehily, right. PIC: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Southfield Royale ridden by Noel Fehily, right. PIC: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
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Southfield Royale must have a huge chance in the Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr.

Trained in Wiltshire by the in-form Neil Mulholland, the seven-year-old gelding has class and staying power.

And though things have not gone to plan this season, there is enough evidence to suggest that all might soon be well with the world.

Southfield Royale was a decent hurdler, but he was essentially marking time before heading over fences.

His novice season was a deep success, with a Grade Two triumph at Doncaster backed up by a terrific second-place finish in the Feltham at Kempton.

Third that day was star chaser Native River, so the form is there for all to see.

That rival then finished ahead of him in the four-miler at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival, but Southfield Royale seemed to get the trip nicely and might have finished a bit closer than fourth had he not made a mistake three out.

Mulholland’s inmate was admittedly disappointing upon his return to action at Doncaster in January, but anything might have happened in the Kim Muir back at Cheltenham last month. He had, after all, travelled nicely until fate intervened and he fell at the ninth fence. Southfield Royale does not look too badly weighted, and also has the assistance of Noel Fehily, who has been a bit of a maestro in the big races this season. With the ground perfectly fine for him, he should have what it takes to make an honourable fist of things in Scotland.

A big day on the Flat at Newbury, where the JLT Greenham Stakes takes top billing. This season’s renewal of the Group Three looks fairly tough to call, but it could pay to side with Zainhom.

The Street Cry colt looked a lovely horse when he won his maiden at York last season and hardly dented his reputation when an unlucky-in-running second in the Autumn Stakes at Newmarket.


AYR: 1.40 Calett Mad, 2.10 Clan Des Obeaux, 2.45 L’Ami Serge, 3.20 Double W’s, 3.55 SOUTHFIELD ROYALE (NAP), 4.30 Kalondra, 5.05 Vasco D’Ycy, 5.40 Donna’s Delight.

BANGOR: 2.00 Thomas Do, 2.35 Minella Rebellion, 3.10 Ganbei, 3.45 Midnight Walk, 4.20 Gold Mountain, 4.55 Chef Des Obeaux.

NEWBURY: 1.55 Dal Harraild, 2.30 Dabyah, 3.05 Zainhom (next best), 3.40 Donncha, 4.15 Call To Mind, 4.45 Dhalam, 5.20 Face The Facts, 5.55 Signe.

NOTTINGHAM: 5.30 Doctor Parkes, 6.00 Green Power, 6.30 Crystal Ocean, 7.00 African Grey, 7.30 House Of Commons, 8.00 Suwaan.

THIRSK: 1.50 Be Bold, 2.20 Epeius, 2.55 Silhuette, 3.30 Custom Cut, 4.05 Hemingway, 4.40 Dolphin Village, 5.15 Made Of Honour, 5.50 One For Jodie.

WOLVERHAMPTON: 5.45 Beau Mistral, 6.15 Viva Verglas, 6.45 Vale Of Flight, 7.15 Drago, 7.45 Scribner Creek, 8.15 Sehail, 8.45 Senor George.