NEW TRIP LOOKS IDEAL FOR POWER LINK
POWER LINK’s credentials as a Good Friday contender have been slightly dented by consecutive defeats, but James Tate’s smart grey can get those big race aspirations back on track over a new trip at Lingfield Park on Saturday.
He steps up to 1m in the Class 3 Bombardier Golden Beer Handicap (2.20) - a race that could prove an ideal dress rehearsal for the £150,000 Mile Final.
The son of US stallion Data Link is a strong traveller with a turn of foot but those attributes haven’t been seen to their best effect since his win over 7f at Wolverhampton in November.
He couldn’t accelerate in the deep surface over the same distance at Southwell on New Year’s Day and was then condemned to a wide trip after slightly missing the break over 7f at Lingfield last time.
Leading All-Weather jockey Ben Curtis, who was on board in both races, believes the sharp mile could be the making of him but it will be Tate’s go-to rider PJ McDonald who takes over at the weekend on his return from a winter break.
Power Link has the turn of foot to defy top weight on this slight drop in grade, as long as he can be played late, and can overcome his big weight.
Indeed, victory would almost certainly elevate his rating to the triple digits required to have a chance of making the cut on Finals Day.
In opposition, Corazon Espinado has faced some stiff tasks this winter, including when chasing home subsequent Fast Track Qualifier winner Another Touch over 1m at Chelmsford City. He has no secrets from the handicapper but can be relied upon to run his race.
GIVE FURZIG ANOTHER CHANCE
Richard Fahey’s four-year-old found himself badly positioned when a better grade contest won by course specialist Petite Jack turned into a sprint, still finished a close fourth.
Back to the level he won at previously, Furzig enjoys a 2lb pull with that rival for little more than a length and can turn the form around given a more even gallop.
With front runner Sky Defender missing the race, it does lack an obvious pace setter but Furzig looks better equipped than his rivals to adapt given his 1m and 1m2f winning form.
Ralph Beckett’s ex-Ballydoyle stayer Cliffs Of Dooneen ran well over course and distance on his return from a long lay-off when he had Petite Jack behind, but this looks an inadequate test for a horse who has won over 2m.
1.10 LINGFIELD PARK, SATURDAY
2.20 LINGFIELD PARK, SATURDAY
POWER LINK (Nap)
Tony Carroll speaks highly of this young stayer in his Stable Tour on this site and will be disappointed how a 2m handicap panned out for him at Lingfield Park on Wednesday. He was trapped wide for much of the race but still got himself into contention after being switched to the rail, only to lose second when his rider eased down close home. A big unit, this 1m6f Chelmsford City winner at least proved he stays the longer trip but gives me the impression he would be far happier back on a more conventional galloping track.
Ben Haslam continues to excel at Newcastle and can place his three-year-old filly Dream Game to optimum effect in a handicap soon following her fine effort in a 5f novice on the Tapeta track on Tuesday. She showed speed and tenacity in equal measure to see off the two market principals, in the end finishing second to the well regarded Youneverletmedown. This daughter of Brazen Beau has shown improvement in all three starts and should be able to make an impact in a handicap off a workable opening mark.
Paul Midgley’s sprinters usually take a run or two to sharpen up at this time of year so this four-year-old’s near miss at Newcastle last week rates of considerable interest. He went down by an agonising nose following a protracted photo-finish verdict but did edge out subsequent winner Canford Bay - a solid yardstick for the form. Gelded since last autumn, this good looking individual remains well treated on a mark of 69 and can soon claim compensation.
David Simcock’s lightly raced gelding was well backed to make a winning handicap debut over 5f at Newcastle last week but found one too good. However, there was much to like about the way he stuck to his task and had the rest well beaten off. He has been raised 1lb for his efforts and must be of interest.