Turf Talk: Three could be the magic number for Three Weeks at Southwell

Star Of Southwold, ridden here by Sean Levey winning at Newmarket last April, looks the stand out at Chelmsford. PIC: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Star Of Southwold, ridden here by Sean Levey winning at Newmarket last April, looks the stand out at Chelmsford. PIC: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
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Three Weeks deserves a third career victory after a string of useful efforts, and it could well be his turn in Southwell’s sunracing.co.uk Handicap.

The four-year-old son of Tapit was close to his best again with another fine performance in defeat at this track last time.

Three Weeks has had the misfortune to bump into some prolific winners, most recently Matterhorn here last month on his second start for David O’Meara.

He got closer than most to Mark Johnston’s colt, and faces nothing quite so progressive on his return over course and distance.

Weld Al Amarat has taken a definite liking to Southwell too – but with a 6lb penalty, he faces a tough enough task at level weights against Three Weeks.

The Right Choice has proved to be so only twice in 14 attempts to date, but Richard Fahey’s gelding can live up to his name again in the Betway Handicap.

The four-year-old ran right up to form behind Weld Al Amarat over seven furlongs here last week.

Back to the six he won over in December, he receives weight from all but one of his six rivals.

At Chelmsford, Star Of Southwold can make his first visit a winning one in the Irish Lotto At totesport.com Handicap.

In a trappy contest, he and his narrow Wolverhampton conqueror Claire Underwood are matched closely again.

But Star Of Southwold has potential to continue his progress, having twice run with promise since switching from Richard Hannon to Mick Appleby.

Just over half-an-hour later, Enthaar is back from a break and a change of yard too in the Bet In Play At Totesport.com Handicap.

The four-year-old also acquires cheekpieces for the first time after moving from Simon Crisford to Stuart Williams.

Enthaar is up 5lb for his tenacious Kempton win in October, but ought to be able to score again in this class.

Catterick stages an annual highlight, in the Watt Fences North Yorkshire Grand National Handicap Chase, and veteran southern raider Mendip Express can make off with the prize for Philip Hobbs and David Maxwell.

The 13-year-old, rated close to 150 in his pomp, demonstrated he is still capable with a dour victory under his owner and amateur rider at Sandown last month.

That eighth win of his career under rules – to add to seven in point-to-points – came, like many of his others, on soft ground.

But Mendip Express’ connections have always known he is even more at home on this sounder surface, to help him stay an extreme trip he has rarely tried.

No such stamina reserves will be required in the opening Join Racing TV Now Juvenile Hurdle, in which Jedd O’Keeffe’s jumps debutant Groveman is eyecatching.

A useful Flat performer, Groveman is a likely type to improve again switched to hurdles.

At Leicester, the Groby Novices’ Handicap Chase begins proceedings on good to firm ground.

Early Du Lemo has raced on much softer than that so far, but Gary Moore has picked out this track for a reason – and despite the possibility of company up front, the six-year-old grey may well buzz round here to winning effect.

In the Chieftain Handicap Hurdle, Ratoute Yutty still looks potentially well-treated after letting down those who backed her into favourite at Cheltenham last time.

She finished a near 10-length fifth, appearing to run out of puff over two and a half miles there, and is back to the minimum.

Clonmel provides the first action of the week in Ireland after three blank days, and further patience will be needed to wait for the most intriguing runner in the last race.

Jim Dreaper’s Complete Sizing, in the famous Potts colours, is unbeaten in four point-to-points and dips his toe under rules in the Rathronan Maiden Hunters Chase.

SOBOT’S SELECTIONS

CATTERICK: 12.25 Groveman (treble), 1.00 Come On Charlie, 1.35 Solid Strike, 2.10 Windsor Avenue, 2.45 Mendip Express, 3.15 Derrynane, 3.50 Delface.

CHELMSFORD: 4.15 Channel Packet, 4.45 Foreign Legion, 5.15 American Graffiti, 5.50 Star Of Southwold (next best), 6.25 Enthaar, 6.55 African Blessing, 7.25 Your Band, 7.55 Krazy Paving.

LEICESTER: 12.35 Early Du Lemo, 1.10 American Tom, 1.45 Desirable Court, 2.20 Ratoute Yutty, 2.55 Humble Hero, 3.25 Quantum Of Solace.

SOUTHWELL: 12.45 Scrafton, 1.20 Acclaim The Nation, 1.55 THREE WEEKS (NAP), 2.25 The Right Choice, 3.00 Ticks The Boxes, 3.35 Piazon.