London – High-class hurdler Coeur De Lion can make a successful return to the Flat in the Betway Handicap at Southwell on Tuesday.
Alan King’s charge has a rating pushing 140 over jumps, but it should not be forgotten he is a more than useful operator on the level as well, winning once and placing four times from just seven starts on turf.
He has struggled to make an impact over hurdles so far this season, finishing down the field in the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton and a competitive handicap at Newbury, so it is perhaps no surprise King has decided to switch codes in a bid to help Coeur De Lion regain some confidence.
The five-year-old has run just once on the all-weather and was well beaten at Wolverhampton, but that was a couple of years ago and he is clearly a better horse now.
With a total prize fund of £15,000 up for grabs this two-mile contest has attracted a decent field, but Coeur De Lion looks sure to go well.
Angel Palanas can complete a course hat-trick in the sunbets.co.uk Handicap.
Following several fine efforts in defeat, the Karl Burke-trained four-year-old was not winning out of turn when bolting here shortly after the turn of the year and a 5kg hike was not enough to stop him following up on his return three weeks later.
He has been raised another 2kg to a perch of 73, but he clearly likes the track and judged on the manner of his latest verdict of a fortnight ago there could still be some mileage in his mark.
It is not inconceivable that a step up to 1400m for the first time could also help him take his game to new heights, too.
The race meetings scheduled for Ayr and Lingfield have been abandoned due to unsafe track conditions. – Press Association
Bet suggestions (UK starting times):
SOUTHWELL: 2.20 Picture Painter, 2.55 Argante, 3.25 COEUR DE LION (NAP), 4.00 Angel Palanas, 4.30 Volatile, 5.00 Red Stripes
DOUBLE: Coeur De Lion and Angel Palanas