The all-weather track at Southwell goes left-handed in a flat mile-and-a-quarter oval which has a run from the home turn of 3f and a spur to provide a straight 5f, those drawn low often seen to good effect on the sprint track. The Fibresand surface, which produces a lot more kickback than the Polytrack/Tapeta ones used at the other all-weather courses, lends itself far more to the course specialist.
Southwell is the only track that uses Fibresand in the UK and the slowest all-weather surface so you tend to get very testing races. You need plenty of stamina to win up the long Southwell straight. The course favours front runners because of the kickback and the slow nature of the surface. Fibresand is quite deep and from time to time the work on the track can throw up some incredible track bias. It’s generally viewed that the middle of the track is the best place to race, but this can quickly change on a certain day! You need tough horses and those who race prominently to win at Southwell.
Southwell FAVOURITES (5 years)
2yo: 14-35 for 40% (-4.38) 8-27 for 30% (-2.92)
3yo: 58-134 for 43% (-15.03) 66-184 for 36% (-4.01)
4yo+: 35-79 for 44% (-6.60) 204-669 for 30% (-93.63)
Total: 107-248 for 43% (-26.01) 278-880 for 32% (-100.56)
TOP 5 TRAINERS at Southwell for current year
Michael Appleby: 14 wins from 107 for 13% (-32.85)
K R Burke: 9 wins from 33 for 27% (-0.29)
Gay Kelleway: 8 wins from 37 for 22% (+0.15)
Ivan Furtado: 7 wins from 28 for 25% (+12.90)
Robyn Brisland: 6 wins from 45 for 13% (-17.25)
TOP 5 JOCKEYS at Southwell for current year
Ben Curtis: 18 wins from 59 for 31% (+1.49)
George Rooke: 8 wins form 38 for 21% (-9.76)
A Rawlinson: 8 wins from 54 for 15% (-1.75)
Clifford Lee: 7 win from 19 for 37% (+11.12)
Daniel Muscutt: 6 wins from 25 for 24% (+25.61)
This course and its surface is unique where course form is more important here than at any other UK track. Top trainers do NOT like to send their horses to race on this surface. For example:
TRAINERS at SOUTHWELL (past 5 years)
Charlie Appleby: 1-3 for 33% (-1.00)
John Gosden: 8-22 for 36% (-4.72)
William Haggas: 4-7 for 57% (+4.20)
Richard Hannon: 6-35 for 17% (-9.25)
Charlie Hills: 1-15 for 7% (-8.00)
Saeed bin Suroor: 1-2 for 50% (+0.38)
Michael Stoute: 0-0 for 0% (+0.00)
Roger Varian: 2-12 for 17% (-8.25)
This leaves the chance for championship-type trainers to win races. Michael Appleby is easily top trainer at the course scoring 121-874 for 14%. Scott Dixon is next best with 52 winners but they come at a negative 8%. Karl Burke has one of the best strike rates and scores 44-217 for 20%. From a training perspective (so far) the disappointing Richard Hughes has his best figures here recording 15-49 for 31% (+33.19). Iain Jardine 13-60 for 22%, Simon Crisford 10-34 for 29% and Tom Dascombe 10-37 for 27% are others to note.
Ben Curtis rides the track particularly well and is top jockey there over the past 5 seasons scoring 65-348 for 19%. Silvestre De Sousa shows 19-93 for 20%, Clifford Lee 18-89 for 20%, Oisin Murphy 18-85 for 21%, Richard Kingscote 15-67 for 22%, Daniel Muscutt 12-51 for 24%, but the best strike rate comes from Rob Havlin with 16-65 for 25%.
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