Twelve runners go to post for a typically competitive class 6 event at Lignfield on Thursday, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: This is a competitive event and cases can be made for a few of these, but none more so than ENCAPSULATED. He was a game winner on his latest start at Chelsmford over the six furlong trip when making all gamely and has only been raised 2lb as a result. He’s been given the gift stall 1 today so will be able to grab the lead if breaking well enough and Rhiain Ingram claims a useful 7lb so he has to have a brilliant chance of following up today for Roger Ingram. Spirit Of Zebedee is possibly the most likely to chase him home.
1 PICANSORT – Had been solidly out form before winning here in December over the five furlong trip, keeping on well and only needing one tap of the whip to keep his head on the game. He wasn’t pulling away though and the step up up to six furlongs is a question mark as he doesn’t make as much appeal at today’s trip. Raised 3lb and possible place claims after a small break but others make more appeal for win purposes.
2 RIGOLLETO – Front runner who is back on his last winning mark after a poor ninth on his latest start over C&D, unable to get a lead which completely scuppered his chance. Will do well to get over and lead from Stall 9 today and his last win came back in March 2016, which was ten starts ago when given a soft lead and left unchallenged. If getting over to the lead he’d have a possible each way chance but looks vulnerable for the win with all things considered.
3 SPIRIT OF ZEBEDEE – Only had four starts on the all weather so is unexposed on this surface and ran a good race to run out a good winner at Newcastle two weeks ago (6f, Std). He’s been raised 3lb as a result but he remains with potential as only a four year old and the John Quinn are in good form at present with three winners from their last thirteen. Stall 5 isn’t a bad draw and has to be one of the main contenders today with all things considered and is respected as such with Jason Hart taking the ride.
4 DESERT STRIKE – Made all off today’s mark over C&D in December, never challenged out in front which made his life much easier. He has however been very poor in three runs since, unable to keep up the gallop and capitulating down the home straight. Stall eleven makes it almost impossible for him to get over and lead and others make far more appeal and he is best left alone today.
5 COMPTON PRINCE – Kept on finding when winning at Kempton over today’s distance in January but has struggled to land a blow thanks to the subsequent 3lb rise by the handicapper. Keen and unable to challenge over C&D a few weeks later, he again struggled over C&D a week later when a victim of being too keen early, wilting in the final furlong. Has to room for error off this mark and if he is once again keen all his chance is likely to disappear very quickly. Likely place claims if settling better but remains vulnerable for the win.
6 RED INVADER – Winner at the five furlong trip at Chelmsford in August but has struggled in two runs since returning, well beaten at both Kempton (6f, Std to Slw) and over C&D on his latest start. Has a lot to prove at present even though he’s now down to only a pound above his last winning mark, and others make plenty more appeal today. John Butler has had a few winners of late but its still hard to make a case for him in this vein of form.
7 GHOST TRAIN – All but refused to race on his penultimate start over C&D, conceding ten lengths almost straight away and he did the same thing when last seen in December over C&D. Once again he stood still in the stalls and only consented to walk out when the rest had gone past the one furlong pole, so it’s almost impossible to recommend him on that basis alone. He’s only a pund above his last winning mark and a C&D winner so has no excuses, but clearly has lost the love for racing and is too risky.
8 ENCAPSULATED – Being given a positive ride under today’s jockey worked wonders when holding on gamely to win at Chelmsford two weeks ago (6f, Std) and has been raised 2lb as a result of the short head victory. Has been give the gift of stall 1 so will be able to lead if wanting to and as a former C&D winner he clearly takes too the surface well. Rhiain Ingram retains the ride and claims a useful 7lb and looks a likely type to follow up for Roger Ingram.
9 DISCLOSURE – Four wins from forty-four starts and is a very hard horse to win with, but showed positive signs when placing off today’s mark at Newcastle on his latest start (7f, Std). Drops back in trip today which isn’t likely to be an issue and should have place claims if building upon that run, but its hard to see him winning with his overall record and a draw of stall 8.
10 TAVENER – Very hard to win with, only managed to take victory one occasion from twenty-five starts but showed some fight when third at Chelmsford last week, unable to quicken in the final furlong (7f, Std). On that evidence a drop back in trip should suit and his current mark of 57 doesn’t look particularly harsh, with his only win coming off 9lb higher. Has definite possibilities if putting his best foot forward and deserves a second look.
11 TIDAL’S BABY – Last win came all the way back in July 2013 which has to be of immediate concern but he made a pleasing return from a six months absence when second at Kempton in January (6f, Std), slightly impeded towards the finish. If building upon that he’d have to be considered a strong candidate off a mark of 56, as he’s placed and won off much higher in the past. He’s also a previous C&D winner and has to be respected as such for Tony Carroll.
12 PLEADINGS – Has shown little no promise in eight runs to date for Charlie Wallis, with his only moderate effort a third place over C&D in January in a strongly run race. Out of the handicap today and makes limited appeal as his latest run was a dismal ninth at Kempton in Class 7 company.