The feature race on Tuesday’s Lingfield card is Class 3 handicap over 1m2f. Read on for our full race preview and experts’ betting tips.
IN SUMMARY: The one that leaps off the page is Godolphin’s lightly raced 3yo, Storm Force, who makes his handicap debut after making all in a Chelmsford maiden last month. He has obvious scope to make progress but the bookmakers have predictably made him a warm favourite and, given he was allowed the luxury of an uncontested lead on his latest outing, there is better value elsewhere. The suggestion is SPECIAL SEASON, who has shown his best form on this surface, is unexposed over today’s trip and made an encouraging return from a break in a good-quality turf contest last month. Also of interest is Bluegrass Blues, who doesn’t look particularly well handicapped after his 1m Kempton win last month but has often shaped as though today’s step up in trip might unlock some improvement.
1 Bluegrass Blues – Competes off a new career-high mark and is unraced beyond about 1m but his come-from-behind success at Kempton (1m, AW) last month confirmed he’s in very good nick and suggested it’s well worth exploring how he fares over today’s trip; no surprise if he’s in the thick of things.
2 Ready – Bounced back to peak form when winning a “confined” handicap (a race restricted to horses that have not won in the last year) at Newcastle (1m2f, AW) recently; can give another good account here but this race is more competitive and subsequent 4lb rise might leave him vulnerable.
3 Jacbequick – Gave good account when fifth of 20 at Doncaster (1m2f, good) two starts ago but his current mark leaves him with very little margin for error, and he was much less consistent in the second half of the turf season than he was in the first; untested on the AW and others appeal more.
4 Masterpaver – Not quite as good as he once was and was disappointing when last in action on turf in September; sure to appreciate today’s return to Polytrack but probably better suited by slightly longer trips nowadays and may be a shade too high in the weights at present.
5 Special Season – Made quite encouraging return from absence when midfield in good-quality handicap at Newbury last month, his first start over 1m2f; certain to be suited by today’s return to Polytrack, could easily have more to offer over 1m2f and has slipped 9lb from his peak BHA mark; high on the list.
6 Beardwood – Made very underwhelming AW debut when down the field at Chelmsford last month; quickly bounced back to form with turf win at Redcar (1m2f, good to soft) a fortnight ago but subsequent 3lb rise enough to make life difficult, and he still needs to prove himself on this surface.
7 Niceofyoutotellme – Competitive in Pattern company in 2015 but winless since May 2014 and been out of form this year; continues to slide down the weights but his down-the-field finish at Chelmsford this month doesn’t suggest he’s poised to take advantage.
8 Slowfoot – Smart on the Flat when trained in Germany and began British career with two quite impressive hurdle wins in 2015, but was subsequently on the sidelines for a year and has looked out of sorts so far in 2016; lurks on a dangerous handicap mark but could be considered only if very lively in the betting.
9 Strong Force – Twice-raced 3yo who delivered on promise shown over 7f on debut when making all in 1m2f Chelmsford maiden last month; allowed to set a fairly steady tempo on that occasion but pedigree offers hope he can make significant further progress in handicaps; respected.
myracing Forecast Prices: 5/4 Strong Force, 7/1 Ready, Special Season, Beardwood, 8/1 Bluegrass Blues, 10/1 Masterpaver, 14/1 Jacbequick, 16/1 Niceofyoutotellme, 33/1 Slowfoot