This has the makings of a strongly run Handicap with £11,792 on offer for the days’ feature race at Lingfield. Read on for our experts’ thoughts and betting tips.
IN SUMMARY: Sir Maximilian was slowly away when well behind ENCORE D’OR at Chelmsford two weeks ago but he can be expected to come on for that and his trainer and jockey have enviable strike rates here in the last 5 years. He can go well but may have to play second fiddle to Robert Cowell’s horse who won that race comfortably that day and could be a horse to follow this Winter.
1 Gracious John – Won a similar race at Nottingham last month from a 2lb lower mark and a decent fourth on last start here in Listed company 23 days ago. C&D winner should do well back at this level given he has won both Handicap starts and good chance if getting the run of the race.
2 Sir Maximilian – Won a decent Conditions Stakes in May at Chester and was a fine winner of a Sprint Handicap at Meydan in February. Well below form when 10th of 12 in a race won by Encore D’Or at Chelmsford two weeks ago although he wasn’t particularly quick out of the gates that day. Needs to strip fitter for that to land a blow here and is player if breaking well.
3 Encore D’Or – Previous C&D winner who has won half of his races this year. Readily came away at Chelmsford to score by a length two weeks ago after a 5-month absence after meeting trouble early on. Has a 66% strike rate on the AW and despite going up 6lb, looks the sort to defy that penalty for a trainer who excels with these types.
4 Sign Of The Kodiac – Won at Newmarket in June but below form next two starts. Off for 107 days and can get involved if ready to go after absence. Has a good record on the AW with three wins and five seconds. On highest mark yet though and that could be difficult to overcome in this.
5 Bosham – 6 wins from 17 runs this year, the last coming at Beverley in August. Well beaten into last in the race won by Encore D’Or at Chelmsford two weeks ago. Needs to make the running and has gained most of his wins doing so. Should be taken on for the lead here so may find it tough to get back to winning ways.
6 Poyle Vinnie – Hasn’t won in seventeen runs since 2015 but has run in better races on turf this year and hopes will be high this drop in Grade sparks some improvement. Yard in good form but hasn’t been seen on the AW since last year. On a handy mark but best watched for now.
7 Kasbah – Previously trained by Robert Cowell for whom he had two wins and two runner-up finishes in four runs on the AW. 3lb lower than when eighth of 12 at Kempton last time out and best watched on debut for Amanda Perrett.
8 Sandfrankskipsgo – Fourth of 12 on last appearance at Ascot in September although only beaten by about 2 lengths. Two-time winner over this C&D but never won above a Class 4 and on career-high mark. Looks vulnerable to any potential improvers here and may find one or two too good again.
9 Top Boy – Has good form on the AW form mainly at Chelmsford and Wolverhampton. Has won off this mark before and could get involved if handling the track, met interference last time out when only eighth a month ago at Wolverhampton and likely to be taken on for the lead if ridden more prominently here and doubt will have the pace of some of these.
10 Seve – Made the running to win a Handicap over C&D 16 days ago. Yard in good form but 1lb out of the weights and never won above Class 4. Needs massive improvement to take this.