4.10pm Lingfield Tips & Betting Preview 05/05/2017

This is a tricky handicap over a mile, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.

IN SUMMARY: This is a competitive handicap and THUNDERING BLUE gets the vote to come out on top. All was obviously not well when he was well-beaten on his last start and he should return to form over a C&D he clearly likes off a nice mark. A drop in grade may see Archangel Raphael out run his odds here whilst Handytalk is another class dropper who could easily bounce back to winning ways today.

1 THUNDERING BLUE – Lightly-raced sort who is returned to a mile at Lingfield having finished third of six, beaten just 3/4 of a length off today’s mark in March. Something was clearly amiss when beaten 26 lengths at Nottingham in April and this 7-race maiden looks to be on a fair mark and stall 4 will aid his chances. His trainer has a 19% strike rate at Lingfield (3 winners from 16 runners) and their runner could provide a bit of value today.

2 BUMPTIOUS – Makes his handicap debut today following three runs in maiden company. Two of those efforts came as a 2yo and the best of his runs to date was at Newmarket in a Class 4 maiden, beaten 5 3/4 lengths when finishing third of a ten-strong field. He will improve for his seasonal return to action although he still showed a keen tendency and he will need to keep a lid on it here to come out on top. Likely to be popular in the betting.

3 HANDYTALK – Had to do the donkey work on his seasonal reappearance at Leicester last month when leading one of two groups. He weakened in the finish that day to finish sixth which shouldn’t be judged too harshly with how the race panned out and he will be much fitter and sharper here. He drops into Class 5 company today for the first time since his maiden victory and there’s a lot to like about Rod Millman’s charge with Lulu Stanford claiming 5lbs.

4 ARCHANGEL RAPHAEL – 2 victories from 17 career starts and those efforts came on the flat for Aidan O’Brien back in September 2014 and July 2015. He’s been slightly wayward since, tried over hurdles and over longer trips than this which has yielded few positive results. He’s tried in an eye shield for the first time today now dropped back in trip and he’s down another 2lbs in the weights. This drop in trip will help but he has some questions to answer now back to a mile.

5 FRANK BRIDGE – Remains 10lbs higher than his last victory which came over 7 furlongs at Epsom last July. He’s been off the track since September and may need this run although he did finish third off a break at Brighton last June so connections can get him ready. Stall 9 is far from ideal and he has probably had some issues to deal with so he’s best watched on seasonal reappearance.

6 SPIRITUAL STAR – Has been in excellent form of late with form figures of: 31222 in his last five runs. He’s risen from a mark of 65 to today’s rating of 73 but he was rated higher than this in the past and Joshua Bryan claims 7lbs which will certainly aid his cause. He’s a C&D winner and another with a less than ideal draw in stall 8 but he’s been in excellent form and he should run well again although the yard are without a winner from their last 13 runners.

7 BERRAHRI – Won at St Moritz back in February on the ice but his last career victory in the UK came back in August 2015. He’s a horse that connections struggled to win with but he’s finally starting to drop in the weights, now down another 2lbs to a mark of 70. The stable have a less than impressive 8% strike rate at Lingfield and he’s vulnerable again today with some better treated rivals in opposition.

8 FIRE DIAMOND – Recorded a four-timer across the winter, rising from a mark of 52 to 72 in the process. He hasn’t been able to justify marks in the mid 70’s but he’s slipped down the weights again and is now just 4lbs higher than his last winning mark. He’s stepped up in trip a mile today for only the second time and he should be sharper than his last start, having raced off a small break. Has a chance today for a yard that have sent out 4 winners from their last 23 runners.

9 SIR COMPTON – Stuart Kittow is without a winner from 16 runners at Lingfield and that record could be extended here. His lightly-raced 4yo is without a win in five starts and was well-beaten off just 1lb higher at Kempton over 7 furlongs last April. He will improve for that run off a break and the step up in trip to a mile looks like the furthest he will want to go at this point of his career. He’s best watched today.

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