Surfing The Sand

    Lingfield Park and Wolverhampton stage some high quality action on Saturday, previewed by our All-Weather expert Simon Mapletoft, who also shortlists five Eyecatchers from the past week.
  • Friday 06 January 2017
  • Blog


Stuart Williams will have his sights set squarely on the Mile Championship on Good Friday if his All-Weather star REALIZE wins the 1m Conditions Stakes (2.20) at Lingfield Park on Saturday.

The seven-year-old arrives at the Surrey track on the crest of a wave after posting a career best in a strong 7f contest at Chelmsford City last time. That was his 10th victory on the All-Weather from just 22 starts.

Despite winning four times over 7f at Lingfield, Realize has never been tried there over Saturday’s trip but should have no problem with it, having won over more demanding versions at Kempton Park and Chelmsford.

With no obvious pace angle, this could get tactical unless stable companion Dollar Reward (seemingly well out of it at the weights) goes on, but Realize has the speed to adapt and can confirm himself a serious contender for the £150,000 Final come Good Friday.

Alfred Hutchinson also arrives in good form but is at his best with a strong tempo to run at, while the 2014 Mile Champion Captain Cat heads back to the scene of his most valuable triumph with something to prove following a lack-lustre run in a course and distance handicap in November.

A bigger threat could be Karl Burke’s smart handicapper You’re Fired, who was no match for the smart Ennaadd in the Listed Hyde Stakes at Kempton earlier in the season but is best in at the weights off an elevated mark of 107. However, his best form has been achieved on more galloping tracks.


Mark Johnston looks to have every base covered in the Conditions Stakes (7.45) at Wolverhampton on Saturday, with both CHUPALLA and Poet’s Society in the line-up for the five-runner dash.

The Middleham trainer, who also had the smart Sutter County among the initial entries, can win this with the filly Chupalla, who has been off the track since creating a favourable impression on the All-Weather back in the spring.

The daughter of Helmet slammed Richard Hannon’s Stormy Clouds by six lengths at Kempton Park on her debut in May. That rival went on to win his next two starts and later took the valuable sales race at York.

Unfortunately, Chupalla failed to confirm her promise in the Listed National Stakes at Sandown on her only subsequent start but promises to be considerably better than her current rating of 93.

That said, she is still top rated in this small field and also enjoys the benefit of a 5lb fillies’ allowance. I prefer Joe Fanning’s choice to reliable stable companion Poet’s Society, who has already won three of his five All-Weather starts but looks vulnerable to an improver.

Michael Herrington’s filly Dazacam comes into the race on a four-timer but this course and distance winner needs to make a mockery of her rating of 79 to win this and is probably best watched in the face of such a stiff task.


2.20 Lingfield REALIZE
7.45 Wolverhampton CHUPALLA (Nap)


Considering DOC SPORTELLO was stepping up from a win in a claimer, this lightly raced five-year-old ran a stormer to finish second to the well treated Tatlisu in a hot 6f handicap at Newcastle on Tuesday.

The £10,000 that Michael Herrington paid for him looks cheap money on this evidence and the 5f Fast Track Qualifier at the North East track next week could prove an ideal target for this lightly raced gelding, whose jockey Robert Winston assures me he has the hallmarks of a serious sprinter.

Tim Easterby’s sprinter MAPPIN TIME is at the veteran stage but is running well in defeat and is dangerously well handicapped.

He found the early pace too lively over an inadequate 5f at Southwell on New Year’s Day but still emerged from the kick-back to deliver a power packed finish behind trailblazer Razin’ Hell and course specialist Meadway.

Previously, Mappin Time had finished strongly in a 5f handicap at Newcastle and looks ready to win again off a figure well below his last winning mark.

I flagged up this three-year-old’s SAMPHIRE COAST staying on fourth at Southwell on this week’s Form Factor show on At The Races so wasn’t surprised to see him build on that by winning a 1m handicap on the Fibresand on Thursday.

Given that he achieved that success off a lowly mark of 53, there’s clearly more to come from this strapping son of Fastnet Rock, who promises to stay further in time.

For now, he grinds out the mile well on this slow surface and can follow up, possibly even under a penalty.

James Fanshawe won’t be unhappy with an opening handicap mark of 72 for ENFOLDING following this gelding’s staying on second in a 7f Lingfield maiden on 28th December.

He fluffed his lines at the start and then endured a wide trip before accelerating past several rivals deep inside the final furlong.

A brother to a 1m All-Weather winner, he promises to stay further and will be of serious interest on his forthcoming handicap debut.

Ruth Carr does well with horses like MERDON CASTLE , who hinted at a return to form in a 7f Newcastle handicap on Tuesday when he ran on to be fourth despite not enjoying a clear run.

What’s more, he was quietly backed at big prices. Formerly with David Elsworth, Merdon Castle was smart enough to win a Fast Track Qualifier as a three-year-old before finishing third in that year’s 3YO Sprint Final to Lightscameraction.

Since joining the York handler he’s fallen 15lb in the ratings to a workable mark of 80 and I expect him to exploit it next time.

  • Race Type
  • Location
  • Date Range
More options
  • Race Class
  • Distance
  • Official Going
  • Race Types

Feature Races