The first time this race has been run so nothing historical to point us in any direction but the seven furlongs on soft ground may be enough to overstretch those bred for sprinting but it should still be an exciting contest. Read on for a detailed horse by horse race preview and tips ahead of the 3.20pm at Lingfield this afternoon.
IN SUMMARY: Not an easy race to call but with Clive Cox in great form and the going with plenty of give in it, GRAPHITE STORM looks the one to be on here and he can come home in front with Hector Crouch’s three-pound claim an added bonus. Khamaary looks his biggest danger at these weights.
1 GLORY AWAITS – Joint top weight for David Simcock’s son of the classy Choisir as he looks for his fourth win this afternoon but his first since September 2014 when in the care of Kevin Ryan. Last time out he finished twelfth of thirteen in a Class Two event at Sandown over a mile but interestingly enough he has won in very soft ground at Group Two level in Turkey and may handle this surface better than some. He has placed in better company as recently as mid-June at Sandown and with his trainer hitting a 17% strike rate and over five points of profit recently, he cannot be easily dismissed.
2 ICE SLICE – Seven wins from thirty-five starts is a 20% strike rate which is not to be sniffed at, but he will still need to do slightly better than his recent fifth to Mythical Madness at Haydock if he wants to come home in front here. The son of Dark Angel seems to handle any going and has won on the soft predicted here, but he has gone seven races without a win now and almost a year, and others appeal slightly more with the James Eustace stable going through a bit of a quiet patch.
3 BLACK BESS – The outsider of this field on the early tissues yet two visits to this track on the turf have yielded two victories which has to make her interesting. She did find them too quick for her over six furlongs last time out at Goodwood when a ten-length last of seven but only narrowly failed to get up the race before at Brighton when a neck behind Staitondale Lass when a beaten favourite. Jockey Pat Cosgrave is in good form with seven winners in the last two weeks, though trainer Jim Boyle is none from nine in the same period which may explain her inflated price.
4 GRAPHITE STORM – Trainer Clive Cox is in red-hot form with six winners from just the twenty-two runners in the last two weeks (27%) and a level stakes profit of 6.75 points which has to increase the three-year-old’s chances. The son of Delegator gets five pounds and more from his elders which has to increase his chances, but he will still need to improve on his seventh of eleven to Rusumaat at Haydock, even if this is a drop in class. Beaten over nine lengths that day he never got involved in the finish but does have a Newbury win over this trip on good to soft going to his name as a juvenile and should do a lot better here.
5 BAHAMADAM – Two wins from six starts at Windsor in August last year and on her return to action this season at Leicester when beating Rely On Me by a neck in late May at odds of 33/1. Last time out trainer Eve Johnson-Houghton stepped her up to Listed class at Carlisle when she finished over ten lengths behind Elusive Beauty in eighth, and although dropped in class she may well need to produce a lot more than that to get in to the finish here. Also declared to run at Doncaster Thursday.
6 KHAMAARY – Mark Johnston’s daughter of Tamayuz is the least exposed here after just the four runs, winning the first two and finishing second and fifth since. Last time out she was only beaten a couple of lengths by Makzeem in Class Two handicap at Newmarket when she tried to make all the running but she is tactically adept and can be covered up if needed. Joint bottom weight on soft ground may well see her go from the front once again and if she gets home today she may well take all the catching with Champion jockey Jim Crowley in the saddle.