2.05pm Lingfield Tips & Betting Preview 31/12/2016

Twelve horses go to post for today’s feature race at Lingfield, a Class 2 over 1m with £11,972 on offer to the winner. Read on for our expert’s thoughts and betting tips.

IN SUMMARY: Qaffaal has been thriving recently and was not disgraced when only second at Chelmsford last time out in his bid for a four-timer. He should continue to give a good account but this is much tougher and this looks set up for THIRD TIME LUCKY to put behind a couple of average runs on the AW and get off the mark today for the first time since his Cambridgeshire win. He is on a dangerous mark on his best turf form and if everything clicks today he could be too good for these. Mr Bossy Boots also comes into this in good form and can get involved for the minor money.

1 Alfred Hutchinson – Been running well at this level recently with two runner up efforts up to 1m at this track including when second behind the reopposing My Target two starts ago and ended a long losing streak stretching back to last Summer when winning ½ length over 7f when dropped a grade last month. Should continue to go well and he has the right jockey for the job around these bends but never won from this 1lb higher mark and might find one too good today.

2 Third Time Lucky – Five time winner on turf up to 1m1f with last win coming in the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket last Summer. Hasn’t been at his best in his last two runs now switched to the AW albeit in better company and ninth of 13 in last start behind the progressive Mythical Madness. Doesn’t face the same calibre in this and on a more from a workable mark now. Big player.

3 Majestic Moon – Previously trained by John Gallagher and hasn’t won in fourteen runs since staying on to win a valuable handicap at Ascot last Autumn. Only eighth of 12 on first start for new yard at Chelmsford in a slightly better race earlier this month and finished runner up on his only start at this course in the Spring. Not without a chance but best watched for now with others having more persuasive form at this trip.

4 Grey Mirage – Clearly likes this course with four wins including three over this trip. Ran well to finish third of 12 two starts ago at this course over 1m (My Target first, Alfred Hutchinson second) but below form when last of 8 in a handicap returned to this track earlier this month. Struggled for form this time last year and recent runs suggest the same pattern is emerging this time around and hasn’t won from a mark this low for over two years. Can be ruled out today.

5 Lunar Deity – Almost back down to his last winning mark and has won over C&D four times now including last win in a similar race in February. Recent runs at this level haven’t been too inspiring and well beaten in seventh of 12 behind the smart Chester Street, never in the race. Bit to prove at present.

6 Mr Bossy Boots – Two time course winner over 7f when trained by Ralph Beckett and improved on his second start for current yard to finish a decent third of 8 in a handicap at this track twenty four days ago. Career high mark still and has stamina to prove beyond 7f but should be in the mix under the champion jockey given recent form and not without a chance. Place claims.

7 Georgian Bay – Looks well treated on best form having contested valuable handicaps in this grade over the last two years but seems to save his best for Kempton with his last three wins coming there and needs to be at his very best to get involved in this.

8 My Target – Beat the reopposing Alfred Hutchinson and Grey Mirage over C&D last month, staying on well to win by a length but has disappointed in two runs since in slightly better company and then dropped to a Class 3 last time out when only fourteenth of 15 behind Qaffaal last month, leading after 1f but dropping away tamely well before the end of the race. Doesn’t look as a progressive as a couple of those and needs to bounce back from a workable mark in order make his presence felt.

9 Bold Prediction – Front runner who scored over C&D earlier this Winter and winner in this race twelve months ago but been largely disappointing in seven runs in similar company and at Class 3 level since. Been off for 140 days and still 3lb above his last win. Best watched for now unless the money comes for him.

10 Presumido – Has won on this course four times now and ran a career best to score at Kempton over this trip seventeen days ago in a less competitive race, held up early on and coming off the strong pace to win by ½ length. Has a mark of 87 to contend with now and a lot more needed today facing stronger opposition.

11 Qaffaal – Been in fine form this year with five wins from 12 runs with his last win coming at the start of the month when landing a hat-trick in good style when making headway late on to win with authority by 2¾ lengths (My Target fourteenth). Good run to finish second stepped up in grade and returned to that track three weeks ago and clearly in good heart but this is the toughest race he has encountered so far and will need another career best against some of these. Player.

12 Passing Star – Landed a treble at the start of his career including a win at this track on debut over 7f. Hasn’t won in fourteen runs since and only tenth of 11 in a less competitive race fifty days ago. Easy to rule out today.

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