Surfing The Sand

Our All-Weather expert Simon Mapletoft previews the two feature races at Lingfield Park on Saturday and takes a long range look at the entries for the Fast Track Qualifier for the Sprint Final at Newcastle next week.

  • Thursday 17 January
  • Blog
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REDICEAN READY TO STRENGTHEN GOOD FRIDAY CLAIMS

Alan King, whose All-Weather team is operating at a strike rate more than 30 per cent, can win the Betway Casino Handicap (2.00) at Lingfield Park on Saturday with the thriving REDICEAN.

The Cheveley Park-owned gelding has made a big impression in winning back-to-back handicaps at Wolverhampton and Lingfield, both over this weekend’s trip of 1m4f, but his regular jockey Martin Harley revealed to me on Sky Sports Racing this week that the Winter Derby and Easter Classic could be on the agenda for the five-year-old.

Victory here off a mark of 97 would certainly put him in with a better chance of making the cut for the big Middle-Distance races, with Harley convinced he has the class and tactical speed to cope with a drop back to 10f.

In the meantime, he will bid for a hat-trick over the longer trip and is taken to defy an 8lb rise for his emphatic defeat of the useful Seafarer on the Polytrack before Christmas. Marcus Tregoning’s gelding is better off at the weights but will have to find more to turn the tables.

Lord George, who went so close to winning last season’s Marathon Final, has Ryan Moore’s assistance and a change of headgear but has been below form so far this winter and gave the distinct impression that this trip is too sharp for him when comfortably held by Redicean and Seafarer over course and distance before Christmas.

MOORE TO MAKE RARE LINGFIELD VISIT COUNT

Ryan Moore, a rare visitor to the All-Weather tracks at this time of year, can win the Ladbrokes Home Of The Odds Boost Handicap (2.35) at Lingfield Park on Saturday aboard William Haggas’s ORIGINAIRE.

Like Alan King, the Newmarket trainer has been among the winners this winter and began the week with a remarkable strike rate of 37 per cent, boosted by this season’s Fast Track Qualifier winners Island Of Life and Deputise.

In Originaire, he has an improving three-year old who comfortably won an ordinary 1m novice stakes at Chelmsford City early in the New Year and resumes off just a 1lb higher mark (80) against only two rivals.

He ran a promising race at Lingfield in November, so handles this tighter track, and the 7lb he receives from Brian Meehan’s Amplify should help him come out on top, particularly if this becomes tactical.

Amplify ran with promise on debut at Ascot and was in too deep in Group 2 company in France back in October, but remains open to improvement.

STRONG ENTRY FOR NEWCASTLE FAST TRACK

ENCORE D’OR spearheads a strong entry for the Betway Conditions Stakes (5.45) at Newcastle on Tuesday - the latest Fast Track Qualifier for Good Friday’s £150,000 Sprint Final.

Third in the 2017 Final to Kimberella, and a close second in a Group 3 at Dundalk in the autumn, Robert Cowell’s seven-year-old can go well fresh and tops the ratings back on the Tapeta.

Also among the nine entries is Dean Ivory’s evergreen 11-year-old Tropics, who rolled back the years once again at Chelmsford City in the New Year when he scored his 13th career win in a 5f handicap.

Progressive handicappers Outrage and Ornate could be set to take them on as they bid to make their mark in a higher grade. The former - a strong finisher - has the advantage of two course and distance wins this winter while Ornate has put a catalogue of training problems behind him to register back-to-back victories at Southwell.

The final declarations will be made on Sunday morning.

EYECATCHERS


BALLARD DOWN

David O’Meara has taken his time with this 21,000 guineas acquisition from William Knight, who was bought a last year’s July Sales. He made his first start for the stable in a hot handicap at Newcastle last weekend and looked to win his race under a well-judged ride by Callum Rodriguez, only to be run out of it close home. He was entitled to have needed that run after six months off but looks back to the sort of form that saw him take a valuable handicap at Newmarket in 2017.


LUIS VAZ DE TORRES

There’s no denying that Richard Fahey’s gelding is on an attractive mark and he built on an underwhelming re-appearance run in late November to go close behind the useful Portledge at Newcastle last week, despite being too keen early on. He is 7lb below the mark of his latest win at Ayr last summer and can capitalise over 7f in the coming weeks, perhaps back on a turning track.


BEE MACHINE

Resuming off a mark 2lb higher than the one he carried to victory over 7f at Southwell in August, Declan Carroll’s four-year-old produced a resolute performance over the same course and distance last Sunday, committing to win his race before being caught only by the strong finishing and in form Grey Destiny. He may not be the most consistent but is back on a mark he can be effective off and will be worth an interest back on the Fibresand next time.


WATER’S EDGE

James Tate shouldn’t be long in finding a winning opportunity for this three-year-old, who finished well to get within a short-head of the winner in a 10f Lingfield handicap on Tuesday on his first try in the grade. He showed promise with a close third behind the potentially smart John Gosden debutant Sucellus at Wolverhampton before Christmas and has found his ideal trip for the time being.

Surfing The Sand

Lingfield 14:00, 19 January 2019

Lingfield 14:35, 19 January 2019

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