It was going to be a big weekend of racing over the obstacles but sadly, we have lost the meeting at Newbury to the sub-zero temperatures; all this is snow is very pretty but a pain in the butt when interfering with the racing and I was looking forward to seeing Champ and Altior! Warwick has also been abandoned. Newbury’s Betfair Hurdle fixture is now set to be held on Sunday 21st February. We also lost Chelmsford City on Friday evening and the Saturday card to frost - you know it's cold when All-Weather meetings are called off. I fancied two at Chelmsford so it really is a kick in the dangly bits. Ironically, the Saturday meeting at Chelmsford was of course an additional meeting added to the calendar by the BHA due to so many recent abandonments!
Best bets for the All-Weather horse racing
All being well we will still have two All-Weather cards on Saturday so we have some horse racing to watch and have a bet on. They race at Lingfield Park in the afternoon and Wolverhampton in the evening. Lingfield has an inspection at 8am on raceday in case of a severe frost but the the course was described as raceable on Friday morning.
It might not feel like it but the start of the Turf season isn’t that far away (27th March) and a few of the bigger name Jockeys can be seen at Lingfield on Saturday, a sure sign spring is around the corner. I fancy two in the afternoon read on to find out more.
Best bets for the All-Weather horse racing at Lingfield
The first race of interest to me is the 7f Play Ladbrokes 5-A-Side On Football Fillies' Novice Stakes at 12.50. Give Em The Slip should have won last time, she took the lead in the final furlong and to my eyes looked like she stopped; with two little ducks next to her name she might be one of those that just doesn’t like to get her head in front. She might prove me wrong but I can’t be backing her. Ryan Moore gets the leg-up on Gurkha Girl and this filly is the one for me. By The Gurkha who of course won French 2,000 Guineas & Sussex Stakes she is out of handicapper Freddie's Girl meaning she has two half-brothers Tip To Win and Marions Boy who were both winners. A late developer she debuted last December over track and trip with a respectable fourth. She came back out last month at Kempton where she was beaten into second by the more experienced Durdle Door who had an uncontested lead and won well. That filly is now rated 77 and I doubt any of the opposition here are likely to be rated that highly anytime soon; Petalite was third that day and is rated 66 now. With the main danger possibly a bit of a wrong’un and I happy to back the Roger Teal trained filly at 9-4 with Paddy.
At 2.35 they face the mile for the Bombardier British-Hopped Amber Beer Handicap. Crackling has obviously had his problems with just three runs under his belt as a five-year-old but connections have persevered and can gain some reward in this. Having won here over seven on debut as a two-year-old the gelding wasn’t seen again for 681 days, until November last year when a staying on fourth at Kempton. Just beaten over a mile at Southwell last month that run suggested the fires still burn and he can take this ably assisted in the saddle by Ryan Moore as he is. I am on at 15-8. Six-time C&D winner Accomplice is the danger but another 3lb rise for her recent win might anchor the mare now.