4.18 Lingfield: Class 6 Handicap, 7f
All good things come in threes? Well, let’s see. I backed Heeling Power the last two and times must give him one more chance here, as this race looks to be set up ideally for him from the #3 draw.
He was a bit disappointing – on bare form – the last two runs, when I fancied him a lot. However, there are mitigating factors, and this looks an easier race on paper, too.
At Wolverhampton, from a wider than ideal draw he had an awkward start and then simply never seemed to relax, doing too much early on.
Last time at Lingfield there were less excuses from the #1 draw. However, a rival was always right on his heels, attacked him from three furlongs out and drove him right toward to dreaded inside rail around the home turn, which cost momentum.
The fact Healing Power was able to get going again, rallying in the final furlong, shows me he’s still in excellent form.
He was only half a lengths beaten by Dulcet Spirit that day, who ran a career-best on speed figures. He renews rivalry with her here, and one could argue on slightly worse weight terms despite the fact the filly is 2lb higher in her official mark. The apprentice allowance offsets the additional weight, actually.
But she has a wider draw today, and is likely to be further back than last time. That could prove to be crucial. There isn’t a lot of pace expected here. Ideal for Healing Power from the low draw to hopefully settle nicely in front.
Jockey skills will be somewhat required to keep the gelding relaxed and settled. Elle-May Croot is one of the worst apprentices on the circuit, unfortunately. That’s a clear risk. I simply hope she simply bounces the gelding out of the gate and then does as little as possible. The less she intervenes, the better.
The pace scenario clearly plays into Healing Power’s hands. There are no excuses this time. He’s on a more than fair mark and has ran to good speed ratings in the not too distinct past.
10pts win – Healing Power @ 7/2
7.30 Wolverhampton: Class 4 Handicap, 7f
Gobi Sunset looks potentially a class above the vast majority of this field if he’s fit after a break. Dropping down to 0-80 level, off a 82 rating with a useful 3lb claimer in the saddle makes him seriously well weighted.
It’s best to ignore his turf form and focus on his All-Weather form. His best performances came on the sand, and often off a break.
Therefore fitness is a question mark, but only to a certain extend, because the last two years on his seasonal comeback he was runner-up over this course and distance, only beaten a neck and a nose.
Nearly twelve months ago on his seasonal debut he ran a huge race in an 0-85 Handicap off a #8 draw, in a race that looks strong in hindsight.
He finished third and twice runner-up subsequently, in all his other runs on the All-Weather in 2022. Those performances look strong on paper, too.
Of course it is a concern that we haven’t seen him race since May 2022. Though, in the context of his overall record it isn’t a huge surprise.
Gobi Sunset has the best speed rating to offer over this trip, and certainly course and distance. Even though still without a win, he has a 100% place rate in Handicaps here and got desperately close twice.
The booking of Oliver Stammers is intriguing. This is his only ride on the day, and in the last fortnight he stat twice on Johnston runners, for a close second and a winner.
From a pace scenario the race could work out well for him. He won’t have too many issues moving forward from the #5 draw. There are two potential pace horses he can follow closely. Their early speed should help him settle, as he can be free over the 7f trip.
10pts win – Gobi Sunset @ 11/1