GUINEAS SECOND CLOAK THE STAR ATTRACTION
CLOAK OF SPIRITS won’t get a better chance to capture more Black Type when she lines up in the Listed Ladbrokes Home Of The Odds Boost EBF Fleur De Lys Stakes (2.45) at Lingfield Park on Thursday - a Fast Track Qualifier for the Fillies’ and Mares’ Final on Good Friday.
Richard Hannon’s classy filly - clear top rated off 111 - is already a winner at this level on turf, having claimed the Rosemary Stakes at Newmarket in September and is so far ahead of her rivals on official ratings that her 3lb penalty should be largely insignificant.
Second to Love in the 1,000 Guineas, she acquitted herself well back at Group 1 level last time when third in the Sun Chariot Stakes at Headquarters - form that is far superior in this field.
Though yet to race on an artificial surface, her regular rider Andrea Atzeni insists she will prove effective on this tight Polytrack circuit and she is ideally drawn for her forward run style in stall two.
Roger Varian has a fine record in this category and can expect a bold show from Farzeen, who was unlucky not to finish closer in a Group 3 at Ascot in the summer and brings some solid All-Weather form to the table. She has 13lb to find with Cloak Of Spirits on these terms, however, which puts the task into perspective.
STOUTE FILLY READY FOR STEP UP IN GRADE
Sir Michael Stoute’s progressive filly SORREL loooks ready for a step into Listed company and makes plenty of appeal in the Ladbrokes Football Acca Boosty EBF River Eden Stakes (3.45) at Lingfield Park on Thursday.
His daughter of Dansili has made a strong impression in winning back-to-back fillies’ handicaps over 1m4f at Leicester and Doncaster and should have no issue seeing out the extra furlong on a sharper track.
With Ryan Moore electing to ride Aidan O’Brien’s challenger Elizabethofaragon, William Buick comes in for the ride on a filly who has the potential to be considerably better than her current rating of 94.
The Irish raider tops the ratings off 102 in a weak renewal and will stay every yard of the trip but is no stable star and has so far struggled to make an impact outside of handicap company.
A bigger threat may be Andrew Balding’s four-year-old Tribal Craft, who won a Kempton Park handicap over 1m4f off 90 back in the summer and didn’t look out of place when fourth in a Listed race over 1m6f at Bath last time.
CROWLEY CHOICE LOOKS SIGNIFICANT
Hamdan Al Maktoum’s retained rider Jim Crowley may have faced a difficult choice in the Class 2 Bombardier British Hopped Amber Beer Handicap (2.15) at Lingfield Park on Thursday, but I’m backing him to have made a winning one.
Crowley rarely does 8st 9lb but won’t mind missing his supper to ride Marcus Tregoning’s sparely-raced five-year-old GHALYOON in the 7f feature.
The son of Invincible Spirit has posted two solid efforts in defeat on turf this year, chasing home smart handicappers Magical Wish and Tranchee at Doncaster, and whilst he must prove himself on a sharper track, has enough raw speed to appreciate what should be a strongly run contest.
Dual course and distance winner Magical Wish re-opposes on similar terms and, like stable companion War Glory, is respected, but has struggled to maintain his form of late and may just be feeling the effects of a busy campaign.
Hamdan is also represented by Mark Johnston’s lightly raced Huraiz, who hasn’t been seen in action since only just failing to land a hot 7f handicap at Chelmsford City in June and represents another strong opportunity for title chasing William Buick.
Well berthed in stall four, the son of Sepoy heads onto the All-Weather fresh and unexposed but for me has more to prove on these terms right now than Crowley’s pick Ghalyoon.
On a line through his Chelmsford victor Animal Kingdom, Huraiz is closely matched with a third Hannon representative Oh This Is Us, the 2019 Mile Champion who looks certain to give another good account of himself after bouncing back to winning form at the Essex track in September.
2.15 LINGFIELD PARK, THURSDAY
2.45 LINGFIELD PARK, THURSDAY
CLOAK OF SPIRITS (Nap)
3.45 LINGFIELD PARK, THURSDAY