A field of seven will make there way to post for the second race of the day at Lingfield on Monday, a three mile handicap hurdle. See our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: After his latest close third at Ludlow over the three mile trip, CHAMPAGNE CHASER all but confirmed his stamina for this far and looks the one to beat today off a 2lb higher mark. Tim Vaughan’s seven year old returned to form with a bang on that occasion and is likely to build upon it with Richard Johnson taking the ride. These softer conditions will not be an issue and he can see off the attentions of Lac Sacre who ran well on his latest start and remains on the same mark for today’s assignment.
1 COTSWOLD ROAD – Showed ability in novice hurdle races but has been modest at best in three handicap runs since, refusing to race when last seen at Hereford in February. Needs much more on balance and with how little he’s shown so far in handicaps he’s almost impossible to recommend, despite racing for the powerful Colin Tizzard team. Conditions are to suit and this trip is fine with Paul O’Brien taking off 5lb, but others have far more pressing claims for this.
2 THE MUMPER – Better known as a chaser and switches back to this discipline for the first time since May 2013. Today’s distance is unlikely to be a problem as he was a winner over fences at this distance in April 2016 but his first two starts for Alan King have been poor, pulled up at Market Rasen when last seen on Boxing Day (3m 3f, Good to Soft). Needs more now back over timber and his hurdling mark is still a pound above his last winning mark over fences. Conditions will suit but is a risky proposition.
3 ALLEZ VIC – Has been poor this winter for Evan Williams over fences and a return to hurdling prompted no improvement when a well beaten eight at Chepstow in January, behind Lac Sacre too (2m 3f, Heavy). Now down to a mark of 108 which is 12lb below his last winning mark, but that came in February 2015 and he’s been poor in the main ever since then. Hard to fancy despite conditions being to suit and Adam Wedge taking the ride. Likely best watched today.
4 CHAMPAGNE CHASER – Below form when returning this season at Fakenham but showed that he needed it when finishing a very close third at Ludlow in January, all but confirming his stamina for this far (2m 7f, Soft). Only raised 2lb for that run and this looks potentially looks easier with lots of out of form runners, with the booking of Richard Johnson another on the list of positives for Tim Vaughan’s seven year old. Conditions are to suit and he looks likely to be hard to beat today with all things considered, and has to be respected as such.
5 LAC SACRE – All five on his hurdling wins in the past have come at the two mile trip, with the latest of those way back in May 2014 off a 21lb lower mark. He wasn’t disgraced however when third at Taunton on his latest start (2m 7f, Soft), a rare start at this trip for John Flint. Remains on the same mark and is likely to be there or thereabouts with conditions to suit, though he’s likely to find one too good again, with it being a very long time between drinks for this eight year old.
6 AMERICAN LIFE – Has been rapidly dropping down the weights after a poor winter for Sophie Leech, unable to land a blow when last seen at Plumpton in January (3m, Soft). Has been well supported the last twice however which is interesting and the fact he’s dropped another 3lb since than run is another point to pay close attention to, as he’s now 15lb below his last winning mark. Conditions and the trip are fine, so he may well be challenging for second if this turns into a stamina test, but he’s likely to find at least one of these too good again despite this career low mark.
7 BURGESS DREAM – Returned to hurdles with a comfortable victory over C&D January (2m 7f, Heavy), only needing hands and heels for a ready success. He then reverted back to fences when finishing second again over C&D a few weeks ago, though beaten around twenty lengths on that occasion. Returns to timber off a 11lb higher mark which makes this tougher and is overall record of one win from twenty-two doesn’t make for impressive reading. Likely to need more against some arguably tougher opposition in this and may be resigned to fighting for a place at best under Paddy Brennan for Anna Newton-Smith.