Surfing The Sand

Our All-Weather specialist Simon Mapletoft previews the best races Lingfield Park and Southwell this weekend and reveals three more Eyecatchers for your Trackers.

  • Friday 27 December
  • Blog
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YELLOW TIGER has plenty going for him in the Betway Casino Handicap (2.10) at Lingfield Park on Saturday.

Ian Williams has found a good opportunity for the three-year-old to score his first success at only the second attempt on the All-Weather.

Well drawn in stall five, and benefitting from a 4lb weight for age allowance, he brings arguably the best recent form to the 1m4f contest on his first start since being gelded in the autumn.

The son of Wootton Bassett was smart enough to finish fourth in the Shergar Cup Classic back in August and was far from disgraced in a hot handicap at Wolverhampton in October, when he found himself too far off the principals.

Yellow Tiger gets 1lb back from the handicapper for this drop in grade and is preferred to Sir Prize, who went down on his sword in a brave display at Kempton Park last time but has been raised another 4lb for being beaten.

Also entitled to be in the mix is Grant Tuer’s northern raider Arabic Culture - a winner at Wolverhampton last time but only 3lb higher on a track he is proven at.


Champion trainer Mick Appleby is on a mission to land Southwell’s feature race on Sunday with his undeniably well-handicapped sprinter MOONRAKER.

He has booked this winter’s leading jockey Ben Curtis for the 5f Betway Handicap and this proven Fibresand performer can get back to winning form.

He hinted that better was about to come when chasing home the smart Tawny Port from the wrong side of the track over course and distance before Christmas.

The handicapper dropped him 2lb for that performance, which leaves him fully half a stone below his last winning mark at this track in February when he lowered the colours of subsequent Epsom Dash hero Ornate.

Moonraker clashes with the home-based Samovar, who is trained on the track by Scott Dixon and finished just ahead of Appleby’s seven-year-old last time.

Samovar is weighted to confirm the form if apprentice Jonathan Fisher’s 7lb claim is taken into account but I expect his well-treated rival to turn the tables from a handy middle draw.



Karl Burke’s newcomer showed a great attitude to burst through horses and finish a creditable third on debut in a 5f novice stakes at Wolverhampton on Boxing Day. She would have undoubtedly finished closer with a clear run but was still cutting down the well-fancied winner Itsmabirthday and 89-rated runner-up Get Boosting, who had been placed in a Fast Track Qualifier previously. This was a highly promising start.


Another Karl Burke inmate, this two-year-old ran well on the Fibresand at Southwell last week when he finished a courageous second to the well-fancied Speed Marchant. He is clearly well suited to a galloping track, having won over 7f at Newcastle in September, and coped well with a drop in trip. That’s twice he’s run well on this surface in two visits and a 1lb rise to 62 shouldn’t prevent him from scoring again, possibly back at the Nottinghamshire venue.


John Quinn’s three-year-old has improved with every run on the All-Weather this season after winning a fast-ground seller at Leicester but may have found his niche on the Southwell Fibresand. He travelled prominently in a 7f handicap on 20th December, seeing off all but the well treated Private Matter, and can capitalise on an unchanged mark.

Surfing The Sand

Lingfield 14:10, 28 December 2019

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