2.30pm Lingfield Tips & Betting Preview 10/01/2017

The fourth race of the day at Lingfield is a handicap hurdle raced over two miles with several interesting types in the race, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.

IN SUMMARY: The opening mark of Crievehill looks particularly harsh and although he scope for progress, SEA WALL looks the one to be with today. A previous winner over the distance and at the track, he is on a potentially handy mark at the moment and was backed in on his last run at Lingfield, although he failed to show up that day. He has conditions to suit and if returning to anywhere near his best he’d have a massive chance of taking victory today for Chris Gordon and Tom Cannon. The likely main danger will be Druid’s Folly who looks to be on a good mark on handicap debut and has useful form posted.

1 CRIEVEHILL – Opening mark of 122 doesn’t seem all that generous after two fair runs over timber thus far, the latest of which when held at Ffos Las in December (1m 7f, Soft). He has shaped with potential on both those starts though and has plenty of scope for progress for Sam and Nigel Twiston-Davies, as he has an attractive pedigree and plenty of time on his side as only a 5 year old. If the switch to handicap company prompts further improvement he’d have to have place claims today, but seems vulnerable off this mark for win purposes.

2 MAY HAY – 7 year old mare who pulled up on her penultimate start at Hereford after wandering badly before her flights and weakening very tamely (2m, Soft) but did get back to form on her latest start when a 2nd to an improver at Stratford in December (1m 7f, Good to Soft). Now back onto her last winning mark with Graham Carson claiming 7lb and he has conditions to suit as she performs best when the ground is softer so she has no excuses today. She certainly has Each Way claims but needs to show more against horses with more room for improvement.

3 SEA WALL – 2lb below his last winning mark, with that win coming at Taunton in February 2016 (2m, Heavy). All three of his wins thus far have come in heavy conditions so he would certainly appreciate more rain or a stronger gallop so he can exploit his superior stamina. His last few runs are of concern but he was backed in well on his latest start at Lingfield and did run well for quite some distance before not finding enough up the home straight. If he can return to anywhere near his best today he is on a handy mark and would take some beating for Chris Gordon and Tom Cannon.

4 DRUID’S FOLLY – Bumper winner at Ffos Las in dire conditions back in February (2m, Heavy) and has been highly progressive over hurdles thus far. He started off with a decent effort at Market Rasen in November although well held (2m 4f, Good) and improved markedly on that effort to score at Towcester in November (2m 4f, Good to Soft). Handicap debut today off a mark of 118 which could be quite generous and the drop back in trip is likely to be in his favour with how well he performed in bumpers at this trip. Fergal O’Brien’s yard is in good form at present with 3 winners from his last 17 and if continuing his upward curve he has to have a lively chance today.

5 COEUR TANTRE – Won off a mark of 110 at Newton Abbot in August (2m 2f, Good) and is still 4lb higher after a good over C&D last time out (2m Good to Soft). Consistent in the main and should give his running, but there is a concern that softer ground may not be a help, as his only run in truly ‘soft’ ground led to a poor 8th of 13 at Wincanton in January (1m 7f, Soft). Robert Hawker takes off a useful 7lb but may just need further assistance from the handicapper at the moment.

6 STEEL CITY – Form has been very patchy and is hard to catch on a going day, although he ran well on his latest start over C&D when a close 3rd with Coeur Tantre in front of him. He does however now lie on a very low weight with Daniel Samson also claiming 10lb on the 9 year old gelding, so if he does progress from that C&D performance he would be a dangerous Each Way player in the race. He has conditions to suit with him being ground versatile and has to be given a second look, but its hard to know if he will be in the same mood today.

7 DARWINS THEORY – Latest 3rd here after an absence (2m 3f, Heavy) was a good effort and has conditions to suit again here today with the ground very much in his favour. He does however have a very ordinary strike rate of 2-31 and it is hard to get excited about this 8 year old’s chances today, especially as he is still above his last winning mark. Others in the race make more interesting propositions and is most likely best watched today.

8 BEAU LAKE – 13 year old veteran who lies on a dangerous mark at present, 10lb below his last winning mark. He’s also very lightly raced for his age and his record of 6-28 isn’t disgraceful, but he has been poor this year and well beaten on both his starts this season. It is hard to see him getting involved despite a number of factors in his favour as many of these look progressive but if at his best once again, he may be able to sneak a place.

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