Twelve horses take their place for this 0-80 handicap over 6f at Lingfield in the lucky last here today. Read on for our expert’s thoughts and betting tips.
IN SUMMARY: Sophisticated Heir is entitled to go well from his current mark of 79 but he tends to find a couple too good and with the number of pacesetters in this field it could be best left to GUNG HO JACK who likes to come from the back and the way the race will be run could set things nicely up for him today. He is a consistent performer and if over his broken blood vessel from last time he could be tough to beat in this. Swiss Cross has been in fine form recently and wasn’t disgraced in his bid for a four timer at Dundalk last time and can go close if showing his best in an open race in the finale.
1 I’ll Be Good – Nine career wins and most of those have come on soft ground and over 5f. Picked up a Class 4 handicap over the minimum trip at Chester in September and fair form in three subsequent runs before finishing only tenth of 14 over 5f in this grade at Southwell last month. Has a lot to prove tackling this trip for the first time in two years and others preferred today.
2 Sophisticated Heir – Been running well this Autumn up to Class 3 company since moving from David Loughnane’s yard to Michael Herrington and scored on his second start when landing a minor event over this trip at Wolverhampton in September. Third on his last two AW starts at Chelmsford and Wolverhampton from the same mark on his last two starts and should continue to give a good account but may be vulnerable to a late finisher for win purposes given he tends to track the pace. Place claims.
3 Swiss Cross – Been a god servant over the years and has good form up to Listed level. Showed no sign of his age recently when landing a hat-trick of wins in lesser company at this course including twice over today’s trip in the last couple of months and not disgraced when only sixth of 4 when bidding for the four-timer at Dundalk twenty-six days ago. One to take seriously in this and solid claims to get back to winning ways.
4 Anonymous John – Previously with David Evans and hasn’t won in seventeen runs since last year. Fair form in three starts so far since joining his current yard and ran his worst so far when only sixth of 14 at Chelmsford last month. Not ideally placed that day and capable of better but needs to really up his game in this company and hard to fancy in his current mood despite his workable mark.
5 Bertie Blu Boy – Has won at this track seven times in his career and hasn’t won since 2015 in eleven runs. Returned from a six month break last month but hasn’t fared well in two runs, only beating one horse home in those starts. Front runner who tends to dominate his races and could get involved on best form if employing forcing tactics but likely to be taken on for the lead in this and hard to fancy on current form.
6 Hyland Heather – Consistent in minor events this year and left behind a string of decent efforts to land a Class 5 maiden at Redcar (Good) in September. Only fourth when upped to this grade next time out but has blinkers back on today (won on his only previous start with them on) and may still have some improvement left in her from this mark but tends to find one too good and likely to be taken on for the lead today. Best watched for now unless the market speaks in her favour.
7 Varsovian – Has won over C&D three times now but not since early last Spring, the first of a hat-trick of AW wins over 6f. Hasn’t won in twelve runs since landing that treble at Chelmsford up to Class 3 company but back to the same mark as his second success of that treble last year. Only fifth of 8 in a handicap at Chelmsford thirteen days ago over further and the drop in trip may help today but others come into this in better recent form and one to watch for now.
8 Gold Club – Hasn’t won for eighteen months when landing a 0-75 handicap at Chepstow over this trip and fair form in nine runs since without winning. 9lb higher than his last winning mark and needs a career best to land this. Can be overlooked today.
9 Vimy Ridge – Losing streak now stretches twenty-five runs back to his last victory at Chelmsford last July over 5f. On a very good handicap mark at the moment and ran his best race for a while when second at the same track on his last start twenty days ago with his usual headgear left off. Same circumstances for this and dangerous to ignore off this mark but strike rate slightly off-putting and others looks stronger.
10 Gung Ho Jack – Landed a double over C&D last Spring and only one win at Kempton last April since. Been running consistently well since without winning and ran a fine a race to finish runner up over C&D last month when bursting a blood vessel. Always give his running and despite being 4lb above his last winning mark he has won off higher before and could be dangerous to discount given the pace will likely be forced with a few pacesetters in the field and this could be set up for one of his trademark thundering finishes. Big player.
11 Noble Deed – Landed back to back wins in minor events at Kempton and then over C&D earlier this year off a lower mark but has disappointed in eight runs since. Been off the track for four months and pitched in on return to this track. Can be overlooked today.
12 Evening Starlight – Clearly likes it here with two wins over 6f earlier this year in lesser company but ran a fine race to finish second of 8 in this grade two starts ago. Not so good at Kempton on last start and needs a bit more to get his head in front today despite his trainers’ fine record here when only sending one runner to this meeting.