A very Good Friday to look forward to and the highlight of a busy day of racing is the All Weather Championships day card at Lingfield. A stacked card has been put together across the seven races. Here is our preview and best bets for the meeting.
1.30 Apprentice Handicap
14 runners for this 7 furlong handicap, headed by Wahash at 5/1. I think that both the favourite & Eljaddaaf may struggle to overcome their penalties for last time out wins & the latter, in particular, may be hampered by the lack of guaranteed pace.
A good low draw to get an early position & a prominent racing style would be what I’m looking for in this which leads us to our bet, Silent Echo. This 4 year old is still lightly raced with only 7 career starts & has moved to a new stable from Roger Charlton recently. On his first start for the yard, he was 6th behind Eljaddaaf but that run was full of promise. He failed to settle so the fact he was in with a chance so deep into the race was a plus. He quickened well before being hampered late on & was eased once his chance had gone. The pace was fast & todays expected shape of the race should suit better.
He’s drawn well & has a top apprentice on board. Off the same mark as last time, he should go well especially as he will strip fitter for that run last month. He won the only other time he’s raced here so the track clearly suits too.
Back Silent Echo (e/w) for a 1.5/10 stake at 7.00 Boylesports BOG (⅕ odds 1-4)
Back it here:
There’s only 9 runners but the front 5 are separated by only 3lb so that indicates its competitiveness. Watersmeet has an excellent AW record, winning 11 of his 22 starts, but I think this is the track least suited to his style. Soldier Of Action is top rated but isn’t in the greatest form whilst Mountain Bell won well when stepped up to this trip last time.
However, the 2 I like are the French raider Funny Kid and the very classy Red Verdon. The former looked to have the beating of Watersmeet on his last visit to these shores & this track should suit better whilst Red Verdon is the best horse in the field but has never raced over this far. His trainer has said, however, that he’s a possible for the Melbourne Cup which suggests he is confident about him getting the trip.
With plenty of other betting opportunities, I’ll sit this out.
2.30 Fillies & Mares
Plenty of pace on here in this 7 furlong race but not the best contest in the world with the highest rated off a mark of just 97. I’m not sure Zest will like this trip nor her draw, whilst the draw could also be an issue for Soul Silver.
Diagnostic should go well with a bigger field & faster pace to help her settle but I like the chances of Summer Icon. She has a nice draw in 5 and is her stable’s best chance of a winner here. Admittedly, she’s finished behind the likes of Zest & Carolinae already over the winter but race conditions didn’t suit on either occasion. Last time out, she was 2nd in the Listed Lady Wulfruna at Wolverhampton, finishing 2nd to the high class Second Thought who races later on the card. This race looks easier to me & a repeat of that run will put her bang there.
In my opinion, she only has Diagnostic to beat so I’m happy to be involved with an each way bet to nothing.
Back Summer Icon (e/w) for a 1.5/10 stake at 6.50 Ladbrokes BOG (⅕ odds 1-4)
This looks to be a superb race. Unbeaten on the all-weather & winner of the Listed Cleves Sprint last time, Kachy could be difficult to catch but, despite there being only 8 runners, there’s a serious battle for the lead with Gifted Master, Gracious John & Double Up all vying for an early prominent position.
Last year’s winner Kimberella has a solid chance and was only a head behind Kachy in that Listed event when pulling hard early door. Richard Fahey has an excellent record in this race & I fancy him to go very close but, instead, I’m siding with Intisaab at bigger odds. Stable in without a winner in the last 2 weeks (from 19 runners) but has had 7 runner up spots in that time so is due a winner and this horse will love the breakneck pace. He won a Group 3 in Doha last time which will have boosted confidence but is better judged on his 4th in that Cleves race. He never got the cleanest run & was too far off the pace turning in but finished as well as anything. He’ll be finishing fast & late & should be bang there with Kachy & Kimberella. If he sits a bit closer, which should be possible with just 8 runners, I fancy his chances.
Back Intisaab (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 9.00 William Hill BOG (1/5 odds 1-3)
3.40 3 Year Old
Corinthia Knight is 6 from 8 on the all-weather & has a cracking chance but is he really at 7/4 shot? I would be looking for something to take him on each way & one of those could be Never Back Down, the last horse to beat him. I think the value may just have gone there so I’ll look elsewhere.
Breathless Times & Rock On Baileys are in form but this is a serious step up in class. The one I’m siding with is Desert Doctor from a nice draw in 3. He was comfortably beaten by Corinthia Knight 2 starts back at Newcastle but it’s his record on turning tracks that is hard to ignore. He has won 4 of 5, with a half length defeat in the other. He looked impressive last time out here over course & distance, when starting slowly but coming through well to win against some rivals better off at the weights. This is a pure value with 12/1 available in a race where, beyond the favourite, there’s no stand out rival. He’s the 4th top rated horse in the field & is still improving so I’m happy to get involved.
Back Desert Doctor (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 15.00 Betfair BOG (1/5 odds 1-3)
Back it here:
I think this is a straight battle between the front 2 in the market, Second Thought & Arcanada. With them both trading at 3/1 or lower, I’m leaving this one alone. I’d slightly favour Arcanada at the prices.
4.40 Middle Distance
A great way to finish the day with the Winter Derby 1-2-3 all reopposing. Mr Owen was first past the post that day but Master The World rightly got the verdict after interference inside the final furlong. That race has traditionally been the best trial & I think the finish here will be between these 2.
There are plenty of others in with chances & you could genuinely give a chance to half the field. With an interest already in 4 of the races, I’ll sit this out too.
Good luck all!