Early Bird – 21st March

3:05 Southwell – Angel Palanas

Won twice over course and distance in January, winning a class 6 before handling a step up in class with a class 5. Excuses the last twice, was staying on too late over 7f before the step up to class 4 was probably too much when not able to get competitive. Back down to a class 5 it is drawn to attack, can hold a good position as Cross Fire is likely to bomb off in front. Interesting they switch from the 7lb claimer that has ridden it a lot lately to Clifford Lee who can claim 3lb but is far more experienced. With the yard in fair form then it can outrun its odds.

1pt win Angel Palanas @ 8/1 Bet365, Betfair and Paddy

4:20 Haydock – Solid Strike

Quite like the plot with this. Slightly different from the usual downgraded horses who had been rated much higher but had seen their mark drop dramatically. This instead is a multiple point winner who has qualified for a handicap mark on the back of a couple of hunter chase runs under rules and lately a couple of runs in novice chases over a shorter trip. Given a mark based on that it looks a very generous 114. Not disgraced in third last time amongst horses rated considerably higher, this could be a good opportunity for a win.

1.5pt win Solid Strike @ 11/2 Skybet, Betfair, Paddy and BetVictor