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Shape points to Al Qareem

Al Qareem can make a successful comeback today from a short hiatus in the Play Coral Racing Super-Series For Free Handicap at Southwell. Trained by Karl Burke, he rounded out his youth campaign in December with a win at Newcastle, after two fair attempts to beat before. Second-placed second-placed Queen Aminatu and third-placed Atlanna have both been re-seeded afterward, while Essencial won fifth at home, giving the form a tough look.

The full edition of Thursday’s Racing Express, as found in The Vanir-exodus, is available here

Army Of India seems to be doing well under the care of Julie Camacho and he can register a Southwell doppelganger in the Betway Handicap. Army Of India, which previously trained the Johnston team, won twice as a two-year-old and was deemed good enough to run for both Royal Ascot and Goodwood in 2020. Last year, however, he struggled to regain that kind of sparkle and sold for just 12,000 guineas last summer. A close-up sixth with big chances on his first run for Camacho, Army Of India then returned to winning form over the same 1000m last month he faces this time around.

The handicapper has put him 2.5kg heavier, but with his riding confidence and posture improved after gelding surgery, his 82 mark could be mild. Upandatit lost its first win last time and another win is likely in the Introducing Racing TV Novices’ Handicap Chase at Carlisle. He was fit for better ground at Kelso on his fourth fence run, coming home 3.50 lengths from Morningside without being pushed too hard.

A 2.5kg increase should be within his means, especially if the ground is to his liking. Barrowdale has hacked 39 lengths last time and is an obvious pick in the Plow Novices’ Hurdle. Eclair On Line should be on target in Wincanton’s Free Cheltenham Placepot Every Day Novices’ Handicap Chase. He was revived on his return from a 661 day absence at Uttoxeter in December but formed with much more promise when he finished third at this track last time.

Kaahira can make the most of a switch to handicapping and take gold on the fourth time she asks at Newcastle. David Loughnane’s attack has so far come to nothing, but she seemed to take a huge leap forward when she fell back to 1400m at Southwell last month. After seemingly failing home twice over 2000 meters, Kaahira came back in the distance to chase hot favorite Criollo home, defying her 16-1 prize to be beaten twice in an incipient heat.

Kaahira gave quite a bit of weight to the winner and Loughnane clearly thinks her first figure of 70 is workable as he has shunned another novice contest in favor of the MansionBet Proud Partners Of AWC Handicap. Serenade ducks into class for what appears to be a trappy. Play Coral Racing-Super-Series For Free Fillies’ Handicap.

The six-year-old struck a class two handicap in November and James Fanshawe has kept her at that caliber in three consecutive runs. Her second against Umm Hurair in December looked good and Serenading was beaten not far in the Winter Oaks at the Lingfield Winter Million meeting, staying on after failing to get an ideal run. She then ran into more serious problems when her rider was lucky enough to keep the partnership after Serenading tightened for space, clipped heels and stumbled at one point. Obviously it’s best to draw a line through that piste and go back to 1600m from longer trips should help. – Press Association

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