The 3rd race of the day at Lingfield is a long distance handicap chase with a prize of £4,621 going to the winner, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: An interesting contest can go the way of HEROES OR GHOSTS, who is a lightly raced 8 year old showing lots of progression this season, finishing a good 2nd the last twice at both Uttoxeter and over C&D a few weeks ago. He’s now only 1lb higher for that last effort and with conditions in his favour he seems the one to beat today for the Jo Davis stable and Niall Madden. The one who can give him the most to think about may be the interesting Song Saa, who hasn’t convinced yet over fences but if all things come together she would be dangerous off her current mark.
1 THEMANFROM MINELLA – 9lb higher than for his last win that came on his penultimate start at Exeter (3m, Good to Soft), but was well held off this mark on his latest start at Cheltenham in April (3m 1f, Good). Has conditions to suit today including his favoured softer ground but he has been unable to win on seasonal reappearance in the past and has that 271 day absence to overcome. Although Sonny The One has franked the form of his win after placing on his latest start, he’s best watched today on previous evidence.
2 LORD HEATHFIELD – Lightly raced under rules for an 11 year old but is an experienced point to pointer who won on his latest start at Uttoxeter (3m, Soft). Has to contend with a 7lb penalty for that half a length victory which makes things tougher but he did finish 2nd off 1lb higher in March at Warwick (2m 4f, Soft). Soft ground will suit him today and conditions are perfect on his follow up bid, and has to have place claims at the very least off a mark he has proved isn’t excessive on previous runs.
3 GOLANOVA – Inconsistent performer who was well beaten on his latest start at Plumpton after a suddering error at the fourth from home (3m 1f, Good to Soft). Races off the same mark today which is 2lb higher than his latest win at Fontwell in February (2m 5f, Heavy), but perhaps the bigger issue is that he is yet to win at trips of 2m 7f or further in 9 attempts, which has to be of concern. Despite getting the ground he wants today, he makes limit appeal.
4 IRISH THISTLE – Well held on all starts this season including on his latest when 4th of 8 at Market Rasen (2m 1f, Good to Soft). Steps up markedly in trip which doesn’t look likely to suit based on his attempt at three miles at Sandown in February (3m, Soft), despite getting the ground he wants today. Dropped another 3lb but makes limited amounts of appeal due to his previous runs in staying races.
5 DESERT JOE – Last win came at Leicester in February 2015 (2m 6f, Good to Soft), and is now 7lb below that winning mark after some very poor efforts this season, well beaten on all his races in 2016. Today’s trip should be no problem based on past evidence and he does perform best when the ground is the softer side of good, but it is hard to make a case for him in his current mood. His yard however, the Alan King stable, are in brilliant form at present with a 37% strike rate from 27 runners in the past two weeks but his 11 year old still doesn’t strike as the likely winner today.
6 HEROES OR GHOSTS – Lightly raced 8 year old who ran well on his latest start when running on into 2nd over C&D last month and is 1lb higher for that effort. Ground versatile with a preference for softer which he will get, the trip is very much his optimum at this stage in his career and despite still being a maiden over fences, he makes plenty of appeal. Further improvement is required but he has been a progressive horse this season so that can be expected and he also drops down to Class 4 company which should help further. He seems the one to beat today for the Jo Davis stable and Niall Madden.
7 SONG SAA – Showed promise when hurdling for Tom George but is yet to put her best foot forward over fences, making a decent enough chase debut at Warwick but made her fair share of mistakes (2m 4f, Good to Soft). She was nowhere near as good on her latest start at Cheltenham when blundering at a crucial stage but did lose a left fore shoe shortly after that (2m4f, Good). Down 4lb for that effort and is interesting now upped in trip, as her pedigree suggests it should suit her. Obviously her stamina is taken in trust but she is one of the more interesting types in the race and has Each Way claims for inform trainer Tom George and Paddy Brennan.
8 COOLKING – Won twice over hurdles last season but has been poor the last twice, the latest on seasonal reappearance at Plumpton (3m 1f, Good to Soft). He is however a winner over fences off 8lb higher but that came in March 2015 at Warwick in a small field affair on his own terms (3m 2f, Soft). This 10 year old veteran seems vulnerable today despite conditions being to suit and is likely best watched on his second run after a break.