Surfing The Sand

Our All-Weather expert Simon Mapletoft shares his three best bets at Southwell and Lingfield Park this weekend, and has his eye on a dark horse for the £150,000 Sprint Final on Good Friday.

  • Friday 28 December
  • Blog
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LANDING NIGHT, from the northern yard of upwardly mobile young trainer Rebecca Menzies, can swoop to victory in the feature race at Southwell on Saturday, the Betway Dash Handicap (1.45).

He returns to the Fibresand on a tempting mark having come within a whisker of winning a similar race on the surface in November on his first start since undergoing wind surgery.

Since then the six-year-old has run two creditable races in defeat at Wolverhampton and in a higher grade at Newcastle.

A course and distance winner, he resumes off a mark 2lb lower than his latest and looks ideally drawn to get a perfect tow into the race from stall seven.

An obvious danger is Scott Dixon’s course and distance winner Samovar, who excelled himself to finish a close third to Acclaim The Nation in a higher grade handicap at this track before Christmas. He can run off the same mark here so warrants respect.


Ivan Furtado has made an encouraging start from his new base just a few miles away from Southwell and has found an ideal opportunity for new recruit DIAMOND PURSUITin the Betway Sprint Classified Stakes (2.20) at his local track on Saturday.

The drop back to 6f can see her build on her second place behind Bond Angel over an additional furlong just before Christmas, when she travelled like the winner but was worn down inside the final 100 yards.

Raised just 1lb for this switch to classified company, she is well treated at the weights and has champion jockey Luke Morris in the plate.


MOKAATIL, an eye-catcher at Wolverhampton on only his second start for Ian Williams, can show his rivals a clean pair of hooves in the Betway Heed Your Hunch Handicap (12.00) at Lingfield Park on Sunday.

Bought out of Owen Burrows’ stable for just £18,000 in September, the lightly raced three-year-old stuck to his task well in a hot race won by Doctor Sardonicus just before Christmas, finishing fourth.

Now 1lb lower, he is undoubtedly well treated on his smart two-year-old form, which included a fourth behind Sound And Silence and James Garfield’s in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Mokaatil is nicely drawn in stall two and can put his credentials on the line for a crack at the £150,000 Sprint Final over course and distance one Good Friday.

Surfing The Sand

Southwell 13:45, 29 December 2018

Southwell 14:20, 29 December 2018

Lingfield 12:00, 30 December 2018

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