What a week it has been
with meetings abandoned all over the show and the weekend meetings have now also fallen foul of the weather to a certain extent. Sandown looks likely to be lost to waterlogging, they inspect in the morning, and Wetherby is now a Hurdles only card. This means a couple of the horses I had planned to bet over the obstacles this weekend I won't; Bristol De Mai as Ascot will be bottomless and The Big Breakaway will now be staying in his stable rather than running at Wetherby.
It’s a big weekend out in Ireland at Leopardstown on Saturday and Sunday with plenty of Grade One’s to enjoy. Honeysuckle is a fairly short price in her bid to win successive Irish Champion Hurdles on the Saturday whilst on the Sunday the Irish Gold Cup looks a competitive if select affair with just five runners. I am not getting involved out there though as there is a plethora of short priced ones and a sprinkling of handicap puzzles. It is the sort of weekend you could have a bet running every couple of minutes but I am going to be slightly more selective with my punts. That said I will of course be watching and could be suffering from square eyes come Sunday evening the hours of horse racing I am likely to consume!
For punting purposes it's all about the All-Weather for me now and three bets at Lingfield Park.
Best bets for the horse racing at Lingfield Park
It’s another midday start at Lingfield this Saturday for an eight-race card. It is one of the feature race days of the All-Weather Championships including two Listed Fast-Track Qualifiers as the All-Weather season builds to Final's day come Easter. I fancy three and they run within the space of just over an hour so it'll be a late lunch with SKY Racing down at Triple G Towers.
A 1.11 it’s the 6f Listed Betway Kachy Stakes, formerly the Cleves Stakes. One that stood out in the entries for me was Summerghand the seven-year-old having not been seen on the All-Weather in some time. This time last year he was in Meydan and then spent most of the summer at the big meetings here competing big handicaps, won the Stewards Cup, and running with credit if not winning in Group company. Has won at Chelmsford in the past so the surface is of little concern and it would appear David O’Meara and connections are warming their charge up for a tilt at the Sprint Championship. Adam Kirby was booked to ride nice and early and a big run is anticipated. Get on at 4-1. David O’Meara said: “Summerghand has performed well on the All-Weather before; I think he’s won at Wolverhampton and a couple at Chelmsford. He has been doing fine and I am hoping he will be able to make up into a strong candidate for Good Friday if all goes well.”
The 1.45 is the Listed 1m2f Betway Winter Derby Trial Stakes. I have backed Bangkok a couple of times already this all-weather season, he was second both times, and I tipped him to win the Winter Derby itself last year when third so it is fair to say he owes me - I did have 9-4 about him to win this last season which he did. In fairness he lost little in defeat in the Listed Quebec Stakes beaten a nose and then at Wolverhampton giving the winner Felix 3lb (re-opposes off levels) to be beaten the width of a fag paper! The fact Ryan Moore rides him for the first time suggests connections aren’t messing about, he don’t ride many for King Power Racing, and I am on again for a repeat performance of 2020 at 6-4. Alastair Donald, racing manager for owners King Power Racing, said: “Things didn’t really go to plan at Wolverhampton last time – he had to do it the tough way and I think he just idled in front a little bit. He was giving the winner 3lb, he has a pretty good record at Lingfield and it looks a good opportunity for him. He was impressive in this race last year. He has got an excellent turn of foot and I think he’s the one to beat, albeit Felix is obviously an improving horse. It’s a pretty even field, but I don’t think I’d swap Bangkok.”
The 2.16 is the 1m2f Get You Ladbrokes Daily Odds Boost Handicap. One that I have been keeping an eye on goes here. Symbolic Power is yet to live up to his rather hefty price tag having cost 2,300,000 Guineas as a yearling. It has to be said he has displayed promise on his first four starts, over 1m at Sandown on debut and then over 1m2f at Chelmsford before getting bogged down a little on heavy at HQ in October when a fading third. Started his three-year-old campaign beaten a neck over 1m2f at Lingfield last month headed in the shadow of the post by Swinton Noon; winner got a dream run up the inner and caused a little interference to the second and third close home. That colt re-opposes but on 1lb worse terms and I think the selection can gain revenge for that defeat. Kirby is on this one so hopefully a nice double for him as I am on at 6-5.