Surfing The Sand

Our All-Weather expert Simon Mapletoft previews the feature races at Lingfield Park on Saturday and takes a longer range look at a cracking sprint handicap at Wolverhampton on Tuesday evening, all live on Sky Sports Racing.

  • Thursday 21 November
  • Blog
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FIRELIGHT gave notice that she is on the way back on her re-appearance at Kempton Park last month and could provide the answer to the Bombardier Golden Beer Conditions Stakes on Saturday (1.55).

Andrew Balding’s three-year-old signed off her juvenile campaign on an official mark of 100 having finished a close fourth in the Group 2 Lowther Stakes at York’s Ebor Festival.

She struggled to build on that in early summer handicaps this year but clearly benefitted from a break when chasing down Soldier’s Minute in a 6f handicap at the Sunbury track.

The step up to 7f looks ideal and she can bridge a significant ratings gap to get the better of battle-hardened rivals So Beloved and Documenting to possibly put herself in the frame for a Fillies’ and Mares’ Fast Track Qualifier.

David O’Meara’s veteran was well backed in the 1m handicap dominated by the highly progressive Alrajaa last weekend and had the rest well accounted for back in second.

A Group 3 winner in his pomp, So Beloved wont mind the drop back to 7f but hasn’t won in three and a half years and could just prove vulnerable to the finishing speed of Balding’s well bred filly

Documenting stands out on official ratings but didn’t travel with much fluency in a course and distance handicap last time, running a shade keen, and will need to get into a better rhythm to make his weigh advantage count.


LIngfield Park’s flying 5f brought the best out of FIZZY FEETback in April and she can follow up on her first visit back to the Surrey track in the Betway Handicap (3.05).

David Loughnane’s filly finished well to get within half a length of the winner in a 5f handicap at Wolverhampton last month.

She has been raised 2lb for that effort to a career high of 79 but has the profile to progress further this winter over the minimum trip.

Indeed, her only blips since that Lingfield success have come over trips that haven’t played to her strengths: a stiff 5f at Pontefract and 6f at Chester and Wolverhampton.

Thegreatestshowman brings some solids, reliable form to the race and put up yet another bold show in defeat at Kempton last time but doesn’t have much room for manoeuvre off this stiff mark. His wide draw in stall 10 is a negative, too.


Robert Cowell knows a smart sprinter when he sees one and will be hoping for the best with the progressive ROCKET ACTION if he stands his ground in the Betway Handicap (5.50) at Wolverhampton on Tuesday evening.

A dual course and distance winner, the three-year-old son of Toronado travelled like a dream to defy a mark for 91 at Dunstall Park earlier this month and has the credentials to make light work of another 8lb rise.

Leodis Dream, who beat Rocket Action at Chelmsford City in between those Wolverhampton successes, is better off at the weights and will be dangerous if allowed to dominate.

However, he is likely to be taken on for the lead by the likes of Corinthia Knightso the race may just set up nicely for Cowell’s closer.



Champion trainer Mick Appleby has made a strong start to his title defence and it shouldn’t be long before this gelding is contributing to the tally. He remains 7lb lower than when successful at Newcastle last winter and strongly hinted that his turn is close when chasing home Strawberry Jack over 7f at Chelmsford City this week. He stayed on well that day and will appreciate a return to 1m. Appleby’sSpeed Merchant - featured in his Stable Tour on this site - obliged at 14-1 at Kempton Park on Wednesday.


Owen Burrows’s colt made a nice start to his career at Chelmsford City and duly built on that with a fast-finishing third in a 1m novice at Lingfield Park last weekend. The fact he challenged from much further back than the principals was highly encouraging. He is bred to appreciate a bit further and it might just be that he proves better suited by a more galloping track, too.


Julie Camacho’s sprinter posted an extraordinary performance to win the Listed Golden Rose Stakes at Lingfield Park last weekend - a Fast Track Qualifier for Good Friday. Despite being drawn poorly and having to be produced wide off the bend in the 6f feature, the seven-year-old somehow managed to complete the final 2f in little more than 22 secs. The strong pace undoubtedly helped his cause but this still rates a huge performance on the stopwatch.


Tim Easterby’s filly compromised her chance with a slow start in the 5f novice at Wolverhampton won by the smart Auchterarderon Monday but was the only rival to make up ground on the charge for home. Out of a half-sister to Group 1 winner Mabs Cross, she needs one more run to qualify for a handicap mark and will be worth following if she re-appears in a back-end nursery or early three-year-old handicap in due course.

Surfing The Sand

Lingfield 13:55, 23 November 2019

Lingfield 15:05, 23 November 2019

Wolverhampton 17:50, 26 November 2019

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