A selling handicap is the third race of the day Lingfield on Friday, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: Although now an twelve year old, KING OLAV showed he retained a lot of ability when winning at Chelsmford in December and a 3lb rise may not be enough to stop him following up in a field full of question marks. He can repel the challenge of Grand Facile who was back to form the last time at Lingfield, but has no guarantee of backing up that effort and is 1-12 under rules.
1 YUL FINEGOLD – Winner off a 19lb higher mark at Southwell on New Year’s Day 2016 but has struggled since, poor all of this winter on the all weather struggling to beat a rival. Obviously on an incredibly dangerous mark but its hard to trust he’ll be back to anywhere near his best. Still needs to prove his stamina at this sort of trip and most likely best watched today for Conor Dore and Joe Fanning.
2 KING OLAV – 12 year old veteran who returned to winning ways at Chelsmford on his latest start (2m, Std), staying on much the strongest. Clearly retains plenty of ability and although a 3lb rise makes it harder, he’s won off higher marks in the past. Likely to run another good race under capable 3lb claimer George Downing and has to be respected as the most likely candidate in a field full of question marks.
3 GRAND FACILE – Lightly raced five year old who was back to form on his latest start over C&D earlier in the month, a clear second behind an improving horse. Raised 3lb for that good effort and still has lots of scope for progress, as he definitely stays the trip and is in the perfect place to take an early lead from Stall 1. Timmy Murphy retains the ride and likely to go well, and has to be respected as a main danger.
4 MEDICEAN QUEEN – Has had a good few chances to take victory over shorter trips which she has declined, with her latest run at Kempton not totally devoid of promise though when fourth (1m 4f, Std to Slw). 0-11 under rules and needs this longer trip to have a drastic effect, though there are no clues to suggest she will stay and most likely best watched today despite having Champion Apprentice Josie Gordon on board.
5 LORELEI – Running well last season, including a win at Wolverhampton in April (2m, Std) in comfortable style off a 2lb lower mark. She has however been poor in the main since and her last run at Chelmsford in December (1m 6f, Std) was devoid of any real promise. Still not at all convincing and others have far more pressing claims today.
6 NETWTON CROSS – Twice a winner back in early 2014 but hasn’t raced much since and hasn’t shown anything this season, looking beaten from a very early stage at Kempton in December (2m, Std to Slw). Surely capable of better as he’s only a seven year old and as a previous C&D winner, but is hard to recommend her on balance. 8lb below his last winning mark and if firing again she’s likely to have solid place claims, but it is certainly a risk.
7 TWILIGHT ANGEL – Returned from a near two year absence with a reasonably encouraging fourth at Chelsmford in November (1m 2f, Std) but hasn’t gone on from that since, posting three poor efforts at various trips. Emma Owen is yet to have a winner this season and the percentage call is to avoid him today as there is no guarantees that she’ll stay.
8 MOVIE MAGIC – 0-37 on the flat and has shown zero promise on four runs this season, effectively tailed off over C&D on his last flat run and was completely tailed off at Plumpton over hurdles last week (2m 4f, Soft). Impossible to make a case for her despite having 7lb removed from her back by Joshua Bryan.
9 RYAN THE GIANT – 0-23 on the flat and although he had excuses on his latest start when the saddle at Kempton a few weeks ago, but at this stage he is effectively an exposed maiden. Has gone close on multiple occasions off this mark and similar but that has been the case for a while now and although he’s likely to give his running and may run into a place if all goes to plan, others are far more convincing.
10 MURRAQIB – Lightly raced four year old who showed a glimmer of promise at Chelmsford in October when fourth (1m 5f, Std), but has been very poor the last thrice and was tailed off at Southwell on his latest start from a very early stage (1m 3f, Std). Unlikely to stay the trip and impossible to recommend.