Saturday Selections: 18th February 2023

2.13 Lingfield: Classified Stakes, 7f

The short price favourite Daphne Bay has strong form thanks to his recent win in a similar contest over a mile where he also ran a fast speed rating. But he’s one who can find trouble at the gate and being far back in this race that may end up in a sprint finish will be a major disadvantage.

I am prepared to give much lower rated longshot Smarden Flyer a chance here, even though he’s already been pushed out further in the betting since I backed him. I don’t take too much notice of that because I feel there are good reasons to believe he will run on merit, and if does he has a top chance to go close.

Rob Havlin in the saddle and and the Jewell yard have a strong record in this type of race, also with bigger prices. Hence I don’t see it as too much of a negative.

He caught the eye two runs back at this course, although over a mile. That day he moved forward and pushed the pace early in the race. He was slightly impeded over 4f out, had to take a pull, and that’s never ideal for the horses of lesser talent. He travelled well enough on the outside subsequently, attempting to challenge from over 3f out, before he finished a tiered 4th.

He ran to a 52 speed rating there, which is excellent as far as recent form goes compared to the majority of opposition here. He couldn’t follow up the next time at Kempton. To be fair the 11f trip looked beyond his stamina.

He had an entry in a similar race last week but was taken out on the day. It may or may have not been only a coincidence that he had the widest draw allocated that day.

However, I believe from the #2 draw with the visor Smarden Flyer will move forward and potentially gets an easy lead as there is not much other pace to compete against.

His career best performance came over this trip back in May last year at Kempton; so 7 furlongs looks potentially an ideal distance especially if he can unwind from the front. he stays a bit further, so if he can establish a lead going into the home straight he could be hard to peg back.

10pts win – Smarden Flyer @ 16.5/1


5.30 Newcastle: Class 6 Handicap, 1m

It’s totally worth taking on Magicdollar who hasn’t run a fast speed rating yet and could be outstayed by only viable alternative, that is handicap debutant Lady Bianca.

The filly left a huge impression when she stayed on strongly last month at Wolverhampton over 7 furlongs. She clearly is still raw and learning, but she started much better than previously, and was very honest in her performance.

Even though clearly finding it hard to keep up as the pace increased from four furlongs out, she was tough and game to get back into it and eventually chase home the winner for a strong runner-up finish with the fastest splits over the last thee furlongs.

She clearly wants a greater test of stamina, which is no surprise given the pedigree. She will get it here, moving up in trip over a mile with the stiff finish at Newcastle sure to suit.

This class 6 contest looks an ideal opportunity to get off the mark. The only concern is the weight. The filly, born in April, has to should 9-10, which is quite a bit more than she had in all her three starts to day, and simply judged in video, she doesn’t look to have the biggest frame.

I simply hope class will see her get through this. The lto run behind Born Ruler is by far the strongest piece of form, given he was only 1½L beaten prior behind a horse now rated 87. So an opening mark off 66, albeit not a giveaway, could underestimate her now racing over a more favourable distance.

10pts win – Lady Bianca @ 4/1

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