2:40 Southwell (4th February) Free Horse Racing Tips

A maiden Stakes over 6f on standard going. Eleven horses take part: all three-year-olds bar a horse of five and six who look to have little chance on form. A mix of colts, geldings, filly and one mare. This turning course often favours those with a lower draw. 

Royal Encounter, trained by Ed Vaughan and ridden by Jimmy Quinn, hails from stall one. This son of Royal Applause is out of a winning mare, who finished fourth in the Nell Gwyn Stakes (Group 3), achieving an official rating of 104. This bay colt cost 45,000gns at the Tattersall's October Yearling Sales, purchased by Oliver St Lawrence Bloodstock. This youngster was in need of the run when making his debut in December at Lingfield at odds of 25/1. Connections expected much better next start at Wolverhampton racing over 7f. Royal Encounter showed good pace to take the lead that day and battled well in the closing stages playing second fiddle to Hardy Black. This April foal lost by just under one length, although the winner looked to hold a clear advantage by the line. Even though that was a relatively small field, the first two where expected to run big races and neither disappointed or lacked in determination. The third horse has since hit the frame and albeit no world beater this race is most probably of a similar level. Royal Encounter drops down to 6f which may take the edge off his pace. However, from a low draw, his jockey is likely to try and hold this favourable position. As long as the surface doesn't cause any problems, this grandson of Dayjur, should finish well. The main opposition - Jaeger Train & Bretherton - have both opted for head gear in an effort to find improvement. The former trained by Karl Burke has been a short-priced fancy on both his starts and will appreciate this drop back in trip and with Joey Haynes claiming 5lb it looks like connections mean business. However, Royal Encounter has fair each way claims if prices allow. 


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