Surfing The Sand

Our All-Weather expert Simon Mapletoft previews two of this weekend’s best races from Lingfield Park and Wolverhampton and has four more Eyecatchers for your tracker.

  • Thursday 19 November
  • Blog
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FROST STAR LOOKS HOT IN LINGFIELD FEATURE

DOCUMENTING will line up for the 7f Bombardier ‘March To Your Own Drum’ Conditions Stakes (1.10) at Lingfield Park on Saturday in the form of his life.

Kevin Frost’s stable star has won three of his last four starts, claiming good handicaps at York and Ascot before elevating his rating to a career-high 109 with victory over course and distance last month.

The seven-year-old conjured a turbo-charged finish to gun down favourite Ghalyoon in a handicap here, giving that rival 12lb on the book, and swerved Wednesday night’s Listed Fast Track Qualifier over 1m at Kempton Park in favour of this.

Drawn well in stall four, he can maintain his progress in the hands of dual champion apprentice Cieren Fallon.

There’s no doubt this is his optimum trip. He couldn’t finish with the same authority in last year’s Mile Final and the Listed Lady Wulfruna Stakes at Wolverhampton in March (a race he was second in last year) will presumably be his major target.

Top apprentice Ray Dawson, who rode Documenting last time, has been booked by Roger Varian for the reliable Spanish City, who hasn’t run on the All-Weather since winning at Newcastle in May 2018 but is two from three in this sphere.

Third in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot and a close second in the Ayr Gold Cup, he shouldn’t find this extra furlong a problem on such an easy track but needs to prove his aptitude for racing around bends and has half a stone to find with my selection on official figures.

Archie Watson’s Highland Dress also has plenty of improvement to find but ran well in the Listed Golden Rose Stakes over 6f at Lingfield last weekend and did win over 7f on debut for John Oxx, so may build on that performance at this lower level.

EXPECT A CLINICAL DISPLAY FROM STOUTE FILLY

Cheveley Park filly CLINICIAN made a striking impression when winning a 7f fillies’ handicap at Wolverhampton in September and returns to the same course and distance in the Bombardier Handicap (7.30) on Saturday.

Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, she quickened up smartly that day despite being short of room at a crucial stage so it was no surprise to see her run so well in defeat at Kempton Park last time.

Resuming off a mark just 1lb lower than Saturday’s, she beat all but Dancing Feet who went on to excel herself when only just denied in a hot fillies’ conditions race at Dunstall Park last week.

Clinician heads back to the West Midlands rather than taking up an engagement in a fillies’ handicap at Lingfield on Saturday and has plenty more scope off her rating of 80. In fact, she could be an ideal type for. Fast Track Qualifier for the Fillies and Mares Final in due course.

Dangers include last time out winner Eagle Creek, who looked good at Chelmsford City but must give weight away all round following a 5lb rise and is poorly dawn in stall 11.

EYECATCHERS

MONJENI

Ian Williams’s gelding has no secrets but has a good record on the All-Weather (four from 15) and would have finished much closer over 2m1/2f at Newcastle on Tuesday had he been able to race closer to a pedestrian pace. He finished strongly to be fourth and can soon add to his win in a 2m Lingfield handicap in February off what should remain an attractive mark.


LEXINGTON FURY

Richard Hannon’s two-year-old has improved with every run and made a good fist of it in a better than average 7f maiden at Wolverhampton on Monday, kicking for home off the turn only to be collared by a potentially smart newcomer from the Sir Mark Prescott stable, Royal Pleasure. He will be of interest now qualified for a handicap mark and will be unlucky to bump into such a smart opponent next time.


FORTULTOUS

Tony Carroll’s son of Derby winner Camelot dug deep to beat favourite Grimsthorpe Castle over 1m4f at Southwell on Sunday – form that was franked when that rival won for the second time on the Fibresand two days later. Still unexposed, and with a considerable frame to fill, this scopey three-year-old won’t be rushed but is improving from a lowly rating and looks the type who could run up a sequence at Southwell, or on another galloping track.

MASHAAN

Richard Fahey’s colt rather bumped into one in a 6f Wolverhampton novice on Saturday, finishing well behind the impressive Helmont to fill the runner-up berth for the third time in a row. There’s nothing wrong with his attitude – he’s a keen sort who likes to get on with the job – and I expect him to break his duck in similar company. Off a mark of 77, he’s up to winning a nursery and has enough speed to score back at the minimum trip.

HOT TOPICS

Dubai Warrior put down a strong early marker for the Middle Distance crown when he won last weekend’s Fast Track Qualifier for the Easter Classic, the Listed Churchill Stakes. John Gosden’s powerful four-year-old - winner of last season’s Group 3 Winter Derby - clocked two sub-11 second furlongs at the business end of the race and recorded an average stride length of 26.26 feet. To give that statistic some perspective, runner-up Sinjaari(who posted marginally the fastest individual furlong from three to two) measured in at just over 25 feet.


Despite his prolific record, former champion Luke Morris feels he may lack the ammunition to regain his title this winter. Nevertheless, Morris still managed to reach a century of winners in a calendar year for the 10th year in succession at Wolverhampton last weekend. For the record he has topped 1,500 rides in five of those years, smashing the £1 million prize money barrier on no fewer than seven occasions. His win record: 102 (current), 105, 150, 177, 159, 189, 189, 168, 159, 128.

Delighted to see Megan Nicholls become the latest apprentice to ride out her claim with victory for John Berry at Wolverhampton on Monday. With a growing network of contacts, she should make a smooth transition to the full professional ranks. Joshua Bryan and Finley Marsh are currently one winner away from emulating Nicholls’s fine achievement.

It was good to see young apprentice Angus Villiers at Wolverhampton on Monday with his boss Richard Spencer. The teenager is still recovering from internal injuries sustained in a crushing fall at Dunstall Park recently but still hopes to be back in the saddle around Christmas. “I thought I’d need an operation but the doctors decided it wasn’t necessary and I’m luckily on the mend,” he told me.

Congratulations to young Jessica Macey, who at 21 must be the youngest trainer on the All-Weather Championships circuit. Based at John Balding’s yard near Bawtry, Doncaster, the niece of ex-trainer Chris Dwyer saddled her first winner at Kempton Park on Monday when Phoenix Star scored under Lewis Edmunds.

Surfing The Sand

Lingfield 13:10, 21 November 2020

Wolverhampton 19:30, 21 November 2020

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