A field of eight go to post for the third race of the day at Lingfield on Wednesday, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: Under Attack and Rosa Damascena both look like very lively dangers but MILROW looks to have their measure as he returns to the flat for the first time since a good third at Lingfield in February 2016. Since then he has been improving over timber for Dr Richard Newland, with his mark rising by 13lb since he made his hurdling debut and he returns to the level off a 1lb higher mark than his Lingfield run. That could potentially be lenient and the fact this is his turf debut on the flat makes him all the more intriguing, so he is taken to go on take victory in this under Luke Morris.
1 UNDER ATTACK – Four year old by Dubawi who is very much lightly raced with only five runs under his belt, posting a career best on his forth start in April 2016 when second at Ripon in a field that was hugely strung out. He returned from 364 days off the track at Newbury last month when sixth behind Signe, keeping on well and not beaten all that far. He looked as though he needed the run on that occasion and the softer ground is likely top be a help on this occasion, so a big run looks to be on the cards.
2 WEST DRIVE – Improvement seemed to peter out towards the end of last season, posting a career best on his forth start at York when finishing third in a competitive looking race where many went on to win races on the flat or over hurdles subsequently. He didn’t go on from that though and his only win came in a maiden at Windsor when making all in a race he was very much entitled to win. He capped off the season when well beaten at Newmarket and more is needed on his return, though Varian has been doing well with his handicappers this season and he couldn’t be discounted entirely. Possible each way claims under 7lb claimer Cmeron Noble but others are further up the list.
3 BLAZE OF HEARTS – Still a maiden after six attempts, having his penultimate start at Yarmouth when perhaps not staying out the trip in softer ground, weakening out of things in the final furlong. He filled out the same position at Nottingham two weeks later at the same trip when again looking very one paced towards the finish, so he is certainly not a guaranteed stayer now upped in trip with softer conditions unlikely to help. More needed on seasonal debut and although he’s another each way player if his stamina holds out, he looks potentially vulnerable for win purposes.
4 ALL MY LOVE – Hurdling winner in the winter who returned to the flat on her latest start at Wolverhampton on the all weather, finishing second after being headed on the post in very unlucky style. As a result she’s been slapped with a 4lb rise which she could certainly have done without as she’s now on a mark of 76, which she may struggle to win off. Conditions will suit and if getting a strong pace she couldn’t be dismissed, but she does seem vulnerable off this mark.
5 PANKO – Twice a winner in 2016, taking the second of those at Chepstow back in July with a comfortable winning margin of two and a half lengths. That however came off a 7lb lower mark than today’s and he has struggled to make his presence felt in two runs this season, finishing fifth at Haydock on seasonal debut when looking outpaced after being headed. Off the same mark again he was only able to muster third, staying on far to late and beaten around five lengths in the end, with the handicapper only relenting a pound. He certainly has claims if at his best with Callum Shepherd taking off a useful 3lb and wouldn’t be one to rule out completely, though others could be seen as much better handicapped.
6 ROSA DAMASCENA – Four year old filly by Kalanisi who made her debut for the Alan King yard at Aintree over hurdles in a listed race, out classed on that occasion but that was no disgraced as it was a tough race. She made her debut on the flat for the trainer on her latest start at Chelmsford, flashing her tail in the closing stages but always holding the second towards the finish. She is now a likely improver on handicap debut off a mark of 75 and with the yard going so well at present, she looks a strong candidate for win purposes under Martin Harley with the softer conditions perhaps an aid.
7 TAKBEER – Two poor efforts on his first two runs for Nikki Evans after joining from a French stable before posting a much improved effort to finish second at Wolverhampton on his latest start behind an improver. He remains on the same mark and will have claims once again if at the same level of form, though that is certainly not guaranteed and the switch to turf does raise a slight question mark. David Probert takes the ride again which is encouraging but there are likely to be others days for him.
8 MILROW – Four year old for Dr Richard Newland who is still a maiden on the flat, but has been running well over hurdles this winter and his current mark looks exploitable as he continues to progress. Twice a winner over hurdles, the latest of those came three starts ago at Perth in September by a growing fourteen lengths and he acquitted himself well in two subsequent runs for the stable over timber. His mark went up 13lb in total which shows he was improving, so returning to the flat off a mark of 74 could be lenient as he’s certainly a much better horse than he was when finishing a good third at Lingfield in February on the all weather. This will be his first flat run on the turf too which should eek out more from him and all signs point to a big run under Luke Morris, which is a very good jockey booking.