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Mr McGregor is primed to deliver

MR McGREGOR can give Southwell punters an early shot in the arm by winning the opening race at the Nottinghamshire circuit.

Trained in Shropshire by the capable Heather Main, the seven-year-old did more than enough on his fencing bow to warrant support in the £200 Membership At Southwell Golf Club Novices' Handicap Chase.

Sent off an 11-2 chance in an extended three-and-a-quarter-mile novices' handicap chase, Mr McGregor jumped pretty well from the outset under Daryl Jacob.

He did not really get going until late in the piece, though, and charged across the line to finish second, beaten just three-quarters of a length by Kings Apollo.

The form from that Taunton race has been well advertised as the victor that day won well at Wincanton last weekend.

Main's former pointer has gone up 4lb for this assignment, but that is hardly the end of the world for a horse who looks quite progressive in this sort of company. Soft ground will not be an issue, either.

A strong field goes to post for the southwell-racecourse.co.uk Handicap Hurdle, but allegiances are with SPOOKYDOOKY.

Jonjo O'Neill's inmate impressed in arguably a better race than this at Doncaster in January, when he stretched seven lengths clear of stablemate At Reception. The seven-year-old is clearly not lacking in stamina, having previously shown up well at Ascot and at Newbury, and has enough range in artillery to overcome a 9lb rise.