Dixon to notch up a Southwell double


London – Boots And Spurs is back in good form and looks sure to run his race in the Sunbets Handicap at Southwell.

Trained by Scott Dixon, Boots And Spurs is now eight and has plenty of miles on the clock, but has won his fair share of races.

He is the sort of year-round horse an owner can only dream about, yet looking at his mark on the all-weather compared to the turf, he looks extremely well in for this race.

Having won at Ripon in June off 78, he struggled with marks in the 80s thereafter before he dropped back to 77 and won again at Catterick in October, going close again off 81 on his return there last time out.

Given the disparity between his two ratings, he is almost 6kg lower for this and while he is not as good on the Fibresand, did win on it a couple of years ago and the excellent Jamie Gormley gets a good tune out of him.

Dixon-trained Nellie’s Dancer will surely never have a better chance of getting off the mark than in the Betway Maiden Stakes.

While she has only limited ability, that comment also certainly applies to her rivals here.

Nicola Currie is making the news for the right reasons and teams up with Richard Hughes’ charge The Big Lad in the Betway Apprentice Classified Claiming Stakes.

Second in a claimer at Windsor last time out, he runs off the same mark here and strictly on the figures, should go very close indeed.

The most competitive race of the day at Kempton is the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle, a qualifier for the Final at Cheltenham in March, and Ben Pauling’s Le Breuil looks interesting.

He won two out of four last season and Pauling could not hide the regard in which he held him, so much so he threw him in at the deep end in Grade 1 company at Aintree.

That run was simply too bad to be true – there is a chance it all just came too soon for him – but as a result the handicapper could not react.

Reappearing this season off a mark of 139, he should be able to do some damage against plenty of exposed rivals.

Nicky Henderson could barely have hand-picked a better starting point for Whisper than the Weatherbys General Stud Book Online Graduation Chase.

Second twice to mercurial stablemate Might Bite in the RSA Chase and the Mildmay Novices’ Chase, he was clearly the second-best staying novice chaser last term.

Despite having plenty in hand on the figures, he meets his sole rival off level weights and this should put him spot on for the Ladbrokes Trophy.  

If Paul Nicholls sends Brio Conti all the way to Carlisle for the Compare Bookies @ bookies.com Novices’ Chase the hint should be taken. 

The grey is one of Nicholls’ big hopes for this season after beating the useful Divine Spear and finishing a decent fifth in Grade 1 company over hurdles.  Nicholls has wasted no time in sending him over fences and he looks potentially top class. – Press Association.

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