Friday Selections: 17th February 2023

A quiet week so far. Prince Of Rome on Monday the only selection to date, ran his race from the front; no excuses, he would have won if good enough.

Thankfully, my conservatism didn’t bite me too hard this week… yet. Not too many of my eyecatchers ran, and I didn’t miss a winner. Although, this may change today?

Some off the list I somewhat fancy but don’t feel it’s going to be their day. Nobody ever made the game pay by backing “fancies”. Nonetheless, there’s one horse too tempting, weighing up all the arguments.


1.50 Lingfield: Class 6 Handicap, 7f

I have been thinking about Dutugamunu for a while and couldn’t make up my mind. I have come around to give him the chance on pure handicapping terms after that recent run where he travelled so well and seeing some money this morning is the signal I needed.

That performance tied in nicely with the prior run as well, where he ran much better than bare form would suggest. There are obvious risks attached, though.

The yard barely has a winner on the All-Weather over the last two years, the #8 draw is a question mark, so is the potential lack of pace and the application of a first-time visor.

But these can be seen in a positive light as well. This could be the day for Dutugamunu to go for it properly. The #8 draw has a pretty solid record over the 7f trip at Lingfield, actually. The visor could help the gelding to start more sharply and get into a nice position where he’s tracking the pace.

Key to me is the fact he looks absolutely ripe on visual evidence as well as on ratings. Two runs back he ran to a 52 speed rating, while many things went wrong during the race. Last time out he travelled notably well into the home straight. Those runs confirm that he’s still as good as before his break, as in the summer he ran on three subsequent occasions to speed ratings 51, 52 and 53.

The drop to 7f could suit. He is 0/7 over the distance but most came in in the early days of his career and can be safely ignored. He already has produced a strong speed rating over 7f, though.

No doubt off a 52 mark he is extremely well handicapped now, given the speed ratings produced recently and last season. If he can overcome without issues the draw and track the pace without pulling too hard – that is a risk in this race without a designated front-runner – he must have a cracking chance to win.

10pt win – Dutugamunu @ 17/2

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