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The N&L Franklin Developments Chase is the centrepiece at Southwell today and there could be several horses in this limited novices' event ahead of their mark.

One improver certainly could be EYESOPENWIDEAWAKE, who tops BTO+ ratings by a significant margin. Hary Whittington's charge is currently rated 125 but bids for a hat-trick and is still getting better. Since arriving from William Codd's yard in Ireland, Eyesopenwideawake has won both of his races for his new trainer. The five year old son of Stowaway made a successful debut for Whittington over today's course and distance in June, winning a maiden hurdle by two and a half lengths. After five months off the track, Eyesopenwideawake made an eye-catching chase debut at Kempton last month. Under a front-running ride from Harry Bannister, the gelding jumped well and clinched the contest by one and three quarter lengths. Eyeswideopenawake should come on again from that effort and should be in the mix. Meanwhile, Whittington has been in deep purple in the past two weeks and shows a 51% better than expected win rate, having saddled six winners from 16 runners.

GET RHYTHM could pose a danger in the affair. The seven year old son of Kayf Tara has not finished outside the top two in his past four runs and should come on from his outing last time out. Get Rhythm racked up a double in the summer, first winning a maiden hurdle at Bangor by two lengths before then battling to a neck victory at Ffos Las in a limited novices' chase. After a break off the track, Tom George's charge was back racing in a decent contest at Lingfield last month. Facing his elders, the gelding produced a solid effort and finished runner-up. Get Rhythm should improve for that run as he may have felt the effects of being off the track for a short period. Tom George means business when he runs his horses at Southwell and he boasts a 76% better than expected strike rate at the track.

BAD BOY DU POULDU has form to reverse with Eyeswideopenawake. The Loup Solitaire gelding was second at Kempton last time out but never really looked like having any chance of winning the affair. Nevertheless, Gary Moore's charge is two pounds better off for the renewal of their rivalry. Bad Boy Du Pouldu will also be in the hands of Jamie Moore, who has a 35% better than expected win rate over today's course and distance.

CRACKING FIND comes into the race in fine fettle. After four runs where he finished inside the top three, Sue Smith's Robin Des Pres gelding finally got himself into the winners' enclosure last time. He won at Newcastle by one and a quarter lengths and has been raised two pounds for that success. Danny Cook takes the reins and he boasts a 56% better than expected strike rate at Southwell.

Sitting at the foot of the weights is CASTLETOWN. The five year old son of Poliglote still awaits his first victory after drawing blank for seven starts. He was second at Carlisle last month although today's affair looks more competitive.

Article Posted on Tuesday 5th December 2017 @ 08.55

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