Tag Archives: Lingfield

Saturday Selections: Cross Examine expected to improve

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5.20 Lingfield: Nursery, Class 6, 6f

This is a poor race and only a handful should have a chance. Most interesting is Cross Examine who makes his nursery debut off a potentially low mark. He didn’t show all too much in three maidens but is expected to improve now switched to this company.

He has been gelded since his last run and stats tell his trainer gets these things more often than not right. Cross Examine comes from a good family, is related to some fine talent and has the assistance of a top class rider today – he must be a prime chance in this field.

Cross Examine @ 13/2 Betfred – 5pts Win

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Friday Selections: Golden opportunity for Dikta Del Mar

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3.10 Lingfield: Maiden Stakes, 1m 5f

Realistically there are only two horses in this race with a chance to win. That is obviously the short odds-on favourite Mr Cripps. His last form in a super hot Newbury maiden reads very strong and he has a prime chance if fit after a 3 month long lay-off, and if he takes to the All-Weather.

Second favourite Etibaar is an interesting alternative, though. He was quite a costly yearling, has a stellar pedigree but hasn’t lived up to it yet. He did okay in three maidens before moving into handicap company the last time. Blinkers fitted didn’t have the desired effect. He was way too keen.

These are off today. Connections used a little break to geld him which could have a huge impact given that his sire Kitten’s Joy has a tremendous record with his first time gelded sons. The switch to the All-Weather should also suit perfectly, given his US pedigree. Only slight concern is the trip.

At 4/1 I feel it is worth a nibble in this otherwise uncompetitive maiden. Mr Cripps may prove too good. But any weakness will be exploited by Etibaar who has a better chance to win than 20% in my book.

Etibaar @ 4/1 Bet365 – 5pts Win

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5.35 Tipperary: Abergwaun Stakes (Listed), 5f

The 3yo filly Dikta Del Mar must have a massive chance here. Unfortunately I realized this too late and the price is tumbling. Nonetheless 9/2 proves value given that she hasn’t been disgraced in a couple of hot races this year, following on from last seasons Listed success in France.

She clearly loves it soft and will appreciate these conditions today. I expect her to bounce back from a poor effort at Goodwood, where quick conditions didn’t suit. The drop into Listed class will help today, so will be the tons of weight she received all around.

Dikta Del Mar @ 9/2 Ladbrokes – 5pts Win

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6.05 Tipperary: Class 1 Handicap, 5f

Ultra competitive race and I like a couple of these. But for price reasons I can’t ignore A Few Dollars More who is surely too big at 18/1. He wasn’t seen to best effect at the Curragh the last time but might be better judged when there is a bit of juice in the ground as happened on his penultimate start when he won a Cork sprint. This form works out very well.

He is down to this very same mark again, and while this here is a stronger race, he gets in off an absolute feather weight. My perception is that with the soft going likely to suit today, he can be better than his current mark off 76.

A Few Dollars More @ 18/1 Bet365 – 5pts Win

Preview: Chartwell Fillies’ Stakes

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Chartwell Fillies’ Stakes (Group 3)

With the rain arriving at Lingfield Park, this race could evolve around the question: how much of it goes actually into the ground?! It could enhance or hamper chances of some well fancied runners. This is an exciting renewal of Chartwell Fillies’ Stakes anyway – a clash of young versus old…. kind of!

Contenders:

From the brigade of the older horses, the four year old Kiyoshi is the household name. A precocious juvenile, she didn’t quite manage to transform her early form into her classic season. Yet an impressive Group 3 success at Doncaster towards the end of last year confirmed that she is still a classy filly. That success means she has to carry a penalty here today. It may not be easy to give weight away to smart rivals on her seasonal reappearance, is my feeling.

Twice a runner-up in the 1.000 Guineas, the Newmarket and Irish equivalent that is, Lightning Thunder would be an obvious candidate today in this somewhat lesser grade. She was disappointing in two subsequent starts last year, though, and hasn’t been seen since August. God knows what to expect of her as a four year old.

Dettori’s mount Al Thakhira was a very good two year old and a fair three year old. But she regressed last season no doubt. She managed only third in a Listed event at Wolverhampton back in March when seen for the first and last time this year. She doesn’t seem to have improved from a physical point of view. 

Still rather lightly raced Evita Peron won a Listed race at Newmarket last year and was not disgraced when 2¼ lengths beaten by Kiyoshi at Doncaster on her final start in 2014. The arriving rain is in her favour and she may be able to imrpvoe as an older horse with a near perfect record over the seven furlong trip.

Exciting New Providence was a close runner-up behind Osaila in the Nell Gwyn earlier this year. If she can improve from that run she has to be a serious candidate today with the weight for age allowance giving her a good chance to be on terms with the older horses.

Two lengths behind her in the Nell Gwyn was Astrelle. A slightly exposed looking filly from the Botti yard. She looked physically improved from her 2yo career where a close second in a Newmarket Group 3 was the highlight. On form she isn’t too far away and receives a serious amount of weight today.

Betting:

The more fancied fillies like New Providence, Lightning Thunder and Al Thakhira look all fairly priced. However Ralf Beckett’s Evita Peron has not many miles on the clock but some fair form to her name. Her fifth behind Kiyoshi at Doncaster matches her close with most rivals and she may be able to improve a bit from that. She has a good a chance as anybody I feel and is overpriced.

A second nod goes to Astrelle. She should strip fitter from her seasonal reappearance and will be happy in these conditions. With rivals giving weight to her all around she could go closer than her big price tag suggests.

Evita Peron @ 9/1 William Hill – 5pts Win
Astrelle @ 25/1 Paddy Power – 5pts Win

Amazing Speed can live up to her name

Wet Dundalk Polytrack

Punchestown is truly alive! Some great jump racing all along, though a shame that Hurricane Fly didn’t quite get home strongly enough to beat old foe Jezki in the big 3m Hurdle. He remains a hero nonetheless, but probably deserves his retirement now. Anyway, betting wise I concentrate on the flat these days and there is a very interesting maiden at Lingfield’s All-Weather taking place….

4.10 Lingfield: Maiden 7 furlongs

A hot little race – I’m most interested in Godolphin’s Amazing Speed, though. This big, scopy filly is really well bred and no doubt will get much further in time. She should be good enough to get off the mark in a maiden over the seven furlong trip, however I hope. She really caught my eye in a competitive maiden over the same distance at Newmarket during the Craven meeting.

She didn’t quite enjoy the run of the race from her position further back in the field and was a bit short of room around 2f out. She had to switch in order to get a clear run but showed greenness, which is no surprise on her debut run. But the way she finished the race under a light hands and heels ride was utterly impressive.

Jockey James Doyle has only this one ride tomorrow, and that in itself is telling. They must rate the filly highly and I would hope for a big performance tomorrow, also given the fact that she should relish the All-Weather given her pedigree.

Amazing Speed @ 2/1 Paddy Power – 10pts win

Weekend Round-up

Cheltenham is over, and one could feel a bit empty, but the racing world never sleeps! So let’s have a quick round-up of what happened this last weekend.

American Pharoah has been shaking up the Kentucky Derby ante-post market. An impressive success in the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes saw him jumping right at the top of the market. Trained by Bob Baffert – who also has the second favourite Dortmund in his barn – American Pharoah was last seasons champion two year old in the US, though injuries towards the end of the season put his Derby credentials on hold. He’s back no – see for yourself how impressive he was on Saturday:

Warren’s Veneda has been really progressive over the last couple of weeks, and her rise to the top of the mares division didn’t stop this weekend when she landed the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Stakes in great fashion. She tried the 1 1/8 mile trip for the first time, but clearly saw it out.

The Hangman was once a top class juvenile, but injuries prevented him from fulfilling his potential. Nursed back to form, he has now won two on the bounce after he took the Grade 3 Kings Cup at Greyville on Sunday – which is the place of his biggest triumph -here’s were he won the Grade 1 Premiers Champion Stakes as a juvenile back in 2012. Ridden to perfection stalking a slow pace on Sunday, he held on gamely to fend off the challenge by runner-up Candy Moon. The second may be the one to take out of this as he came from well off the pace, and has been a bit unlucky lately. A big win is potentially around the corner.

Tryster may well be one of the best horses we have ever seen on the UK All-Weather. Trained by Charlie Appleby, he has been progressive throughout the whole winter and took his form to new heights when getting up easily in the Winter  Derby at Lingfield.

Goonyella delivered for the Irish in the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter! Trying the 4 mile + trip for the first time, he saw it out like a champ and could be en-route to the big National at Aintree in month time now, where he’d be well in.

If you haven’t seen it already – check out my Cheltenham Festival Review as well as the great Photo Gallery from my trip to Coolmore Stud.

Halation can defy career highest mark

No surprise to see this Handicap as competitive as it is with more than half of the field in with a legitimate win chance. Right at the head of the market is the recently so impressive Lingfield winner Mindyourownbusiness. A progressive colt, he improved nicely from run to run and got his game very much together the last time to win with a bit of authority. He had quite the run of the race, though, and up 7lb in the handicap mark, more is needed. Though, given his profile, he could easily be up to it.

Melvin The Grate finished a gallant fourth that day, following on from some excellent performances. He tracked the eventual winner all the way but couldn’t cope with the acceleration of Mindyourownbusiness. Not impossible that he can improve again, but he will have to as it looks to me as if he may be in the grip of the handicapper now. He certainly will need a quick pace and probably a bit of in-running luck if connections decide to revert to the successful hold-up tactics.

Always consistently competitive is Marco Botti’s Solar Deity. In his last five starts he has never been beaten by more than three lengths and finished was in the money in the majority of those races. That is reflected in his handicap mark, which stand stiff at 105. For that reason he has to carry a very big weight today as the highest rated horse in the field and may find one or two too good once again. Godolphin’s Billingsgate had a quick trip to Dubai, but finished last in a competitive Handicap there. Shipped back to the UK, he must rate a good chance here, based on last seasons form, though the travel stress is a slight worry.

David Simcock’s Halation is an interesting runner. This Azamour gelding is clearly progressive, and had excuses when he finished down the field behind Mindyourownbusiness at Lingfield on his seasonal reappearance. The handicapper gave him a big chance subsequently and he obliged duly. He was in the right position that day, but also travelled beautifully and looked like a horse with much more to come. Consequently raised in the mark, he will need to improve, but the trip should suit well as on pedigree he is supposed to get further as well as get better with time. A fine 7lb claimer cancels effectively out the 6lb rise of the the handicap mark and therefore I would expect Halation to be very competitive today – if he is able to overcome his wide draw – which has to be a slight concern.

Veteran Santefisio hasn’t been seen to best effect in recent starts, however he is on a very long losing run and simply need more help from the handicapper. Jack Of Diamonds ran with loads of credit in his last starts. Expect him to be competitive today. He has a bit to find with the more fancied rivals, though. Don’t Call Me looks as good as ever, but that says looked unlikely to be able to win off a mark as high as the current one in this grade. Pearl Nation is better suited to Southwell, though has Wolverhampton form. He did well lately, however it’s much more required here today.

On balance, I feel Halation is the dark horse to an extend and is overpriced. He is on a mark that gives him a chance to win if natural improvement would kick in for this lightly raced gelding. He showed nice form recently, has a good 7lb claimer on board and should like the trip.

2.50 Wolverhampton:Lincoln Trial Handicap (C2)
Halation @ 6/1 PP – 5pts win

Pharmaceutical competitive with handy weight

This is quite an interesting little race which features two rapidly improving Godolphin horses right at the top of the market. If the bookmakers got the order right, I’m not so sure, though. Four Seasons with Ryan Moore on board makes plenty of appeal for obvious reasons, as he is on a hat-trick here today. That says visually his most recent win wasn’t all that impressive in a race which he was clearly entitled to win on ratings and weights. That doesn’t mean that he can’t improve again and he is obviously nicely bred and cost a good deal as a yearling, nonetheless I think he is a very short price, given that you can pick big holes into his recent forms and that he has to overcome a three month long break.

I’d prefer stable mate – though trained by bin Suroor – Greatest Journey. He cost even a bit more as a yearling and he looks a really nice, big, scopy gelding who improved dramatically on the All-Weather this winter – he is here to complete a five-timer today! He went up big time in the ratings for obvious reasons and now on a mark of 97, he’ll need to improve again. I’m not so worried about that, and think he could be absolutely up to it. However the drop in trip is a big question mark. He looks more like a horse crying out for further, as his pedigree is pointing that out too. He won over 9.5f already, and while he may have enough class to be competitive even over 7f, I believe off a mark as high as he is on right now, it is very seldom that you can afford to race over a trip clearly too sharp of the optimum.

Carry On Deryck could run well fresh and should find this easier than what he competed in last year, however he has to overcome a very big weight and may struggle. Anonymous John is consistent and competitive. He can win a race but maybe the step up to 7f is not the right thing to do. Polarisation has loads to find and doesn’t make any appeal.

Much more interesting is Charlie Hills’ very lightly raced colt Pharmaceutical. Only two starts to date, he could be open to any kind of improvement. He was not a cheap yearling by any means either, with a price tag of €100k and in fact is a pretty nicely bred Invincible Spirit son, out of a Listed race winning mare. He did a fair job in a rather poor maiden on a winning debut run, but couldn’t quite back it up subsequently. That was an odd race though and he kept on nicely. Despite finishing second last he was less than two lengths beaten, without getting beaten up at all. Obviously he needs to show more today, up in grade against better opposition.

That says he should improve naturally, have learned a fair bit from his first two starts and if he could live up to his pedigree, must rate a competitive runner in this field. Pharmaceutical receives an awful lot of weight from most of his rivals here, most notably from the favourite Godolphin horses. In addition to that he has Cam Hardie on board who is more than worth his 3lb claim. So effectively he can race off 76 today! I believe there is a very good chance that this colt is a fair bit better than that. If that is the case indeed, he will go very close.

4.30 Lingfield: Class 3 Handicap, 7 furlongs
Pharmaceutical @ 6/1 PP – 5pts win