GOSDEN HOLDS QUEBEC ACES WITH PROGRESSIVE WISSAHICKON
WISSAHICKON, the star turn at Lingfield Park on Saturday, can outclass his rivals in the Listed Betway Quebec Stakes (2.15) en route to a likely crack at the Group 3 Winter Derby and the £200,000 Easter Classic.
John Gosden’s run-away Cambridgeshire winner is well clear of his rivals on official ratings in the 10f showpiece - an early trial for those big Middle Distance races at the Surrey track next spring.
The son of US dirt star Tapit has already established himself as an accomplished All-Weather performer, winning over course and distance in May before dominating a valuable 10f handicap at Chelmsford City in August.
The three-year-old is rated 8lb superior to main rival Big Country, who must also concede a penalty for his Listed win on turf so clearly needs to post a career best to win this.
However, let’s not forget that Mick Appleby’s gelding boasts an impressive All-Weather CV that includes high profile handicap wins in the Rosebery at Kempton and the Lincoln Trial at Wolverhampton.
He produced another admirable performance when only Winter Derby winner Master The World got the better of him in the Listed Churchill Stakes over this course and distance last month and can again make an impact at this level.
In a race that lacks a confirmed pace-setter, recent course and distance scorer Mango Tango makes my shortlist. The former made a perfect start for Archie Watson when she lowered the colours of Toast Of New York in a course and distance Conditions race earlier this month - her first start following a productive career in Qatar.
If it comes down to tactical speed, I expect Wissahickon to out-manoeuvre his rivals off the home bend. He possesses a high cruising speed as he demonstrated when effortlessly breezing into contention at Newmarket and can run the finish out of his main rivals.
KING CAN RULEW WITH REDICEAN
Alan King’s smart dual purpose performer REDICEAN made a big impression when dictating a decent handicap at Wolverhampton last time and looks the one to beat in the Class 2 Betway Heed Your Hunch Handicap (2.50) at Lingfield Park on Saturday.
He did well to come out on top in a steadily run race at Dunstall Park, suggesting he can cope with another sharp test around these tight turns.
Lord George gives the impression that 1m4f at this track will prove a little too sharp. James Fanshawe’s stayer was good enough to finish a close second in last season’s Marathon Final over 2m - a race that will almost certainly be his ultimate aim this season.
2.15 LINGFIELD PARK, SATURDAY
2.50 LINGFIELD PARK, SATURDAY
John Mackie’s Equiano gelding made a pleasing start to his handicapping career with a power-packed finish in a 6f contest at Wolverhampton on Monday. The way he picked up for PJ McDonald from such an unfavourable position suggests he will be winning soon from a lowly mark.
Simon Crisford’s 130,000 gns breeze-up purchase took on some well-regarded opponents on his debut in a 1m novice stakes at Newcastle and made a good impression, travelling prominently before staying on professionally to be second to a more experienced rival. A strong traveller, he can be placed to win a similar race in the New Year, possibly on a turning track.
Richard Hughes’s juvenile is a long-standing maiden on turf but showed at Wolverhampton this week - on only her fourth All-Weather start - that she can soon get off the mark. She encountered a troubled passage but still finished well to be third in a 5f nursery, beating previous winner and warm favourite Vee Man Ten.