Man On The Spot previews Saturday's all-weather action from Lingfield and Newcastle.
SHAFFIRE has yet to win but went close to doing so in a fillies’ only race over track and trip last time. She drops down a grade for this and Harry Whittington’s yard has had a couple of winners already this month. Azets faces a tougher task having opened her account here last month and a high draw doesn’t help but Al Daiha and Avorisk Et Perils have both been thereabouts over longer trips recently. Bint Dandy failed to cope carrying a penalty last time having won over 7f at Chelmsford before that while The Warrior went close here before struggling at Kempton.
DUBLIN PHARAOH returned a losing favourite when only third at Newcastle but still finished in front of a subsequent dual winner. Roger Varian’s colt can open his account in this. Aqrab also finished closer over track and trip last time and is going the right way while Hover and Behind The Wall will have benefited for recent debut runs and are others to note. Win Win Power cost 200,000gns as a half-brother to a four winners, including the smart Nargys, and is preferred to King Of The South of the newcomers.
KACHY hasn’t raced since finishing third in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee at Ascot in June but he still has leading claims on these terms, despite conceding plenty of weight, and goes well fresh having landed a Listed event at the All-Weather Sprint Championships over course and distance last year. Both last year’s runner-up Merhoob and the disappointing Tinto finished behind third-placed Lady Dancealot in Listed company here a fortnight ago while the remainder have been handicapping and are closely matched at the weights. Total Commitment finished just ahead of Lady Dancealot here last month while Harry's Bar won at Kempton in December and Mohareb won over 7f at the track in the same month.
Green Door beat Something Lucky a short-head when scoring over track and trip last month and the latter re-opposes on better terms. But both have been well beaten since and REFLEKTOR (NAP) is preferred. The latter finally showed some improvement for a tumble down the weights when placed here a fortnight ago and Tom Dascombe’s charge looks set for a return to winning ways having scored off a 12lb higher mark last year. Jack The Truth and Zac Brown haven’t raced since September and the latter has undergone wind surgery since while Momtathil has something to find with a couple of these on earlier running here.
EL GHAZWANI has a 7lb rise to contend with bidding for a hat-trick of course and distance wins but Hugo Palmer’s charge scored with the more to spare last time than the narrow winning margin would suggest and doubts surround today’s opposition. Greatest Journey won a decent handicap at Wolverhampton in 2018 but missed the whole of last year while Smile A Mile and the selection’s stablemate Ours Puissant have plenty to prove over this far with the latter returning from a lay-off. Mr Scaramanga was expected to do better in a lower grade here last time and Normal Norman is upped in class.
Plenty with claims in this judged on recent placed efforts but DAZZLING DARREN got his head in front at Chelmsford last time so the Irish raider may prove worth sticking with. Prince Percy and Bad Attitude were both placed on their respective handicap debuts with the former’s third over track and trip looking the stronger form while Sophar Sogood went close at Chelmsford back in October but returns to action off a 5lb higher mark. Saracen Star finished closer here last time when ahead of Critique and Sea Bright and is another to consider.
Ice Pyramid won easily over course and distance last month but failed to land the odds in an amateurs' race at Lingfield last time despite the favourable terms and has to compete off a 5lb higher mark today. Groveman has been hurdling but was narrowly beaten at Carlisle when last on the Flat and can figure in this but LOPES DANCER gets another chance. Sent off favourite here on his first start since November, Brian Ellison’s charge could only manage third but will be sharper today and an apprentice’s 7lb allowance further helps his cause. Iconic Belle has been placed over longer trips at Wolverhampton recently but has yet to win on the all-weather.
BOBBY JOE LEG won a lowly Class 7 contest over course and distance last month but this isn’t much tougher. Both Saltie Girl and Tarnhelm were well beaten on that occasion and Ruth Carr’s charge can confirm running with an apprentice’s allowance negating a 3lb rise in the weights. The Bull is usually thereabouts at this level but recorded his only win so far over the minimum trip while Crash Helmet slides further down the handicap without yet showing any improvement.
Aegeus won a maiden over a mile here when last in action in October and has switched yards subsequently. Irish raider Able Jack also debuts for new connections having landed a double at Dundalk in December and can get involved having scored at Wolverhampton in the past though PORTLEDGE (NAP) makes most appeal. The latter will have benefitted for last month’s comeback and a repeat of his third in a higher grade contest here back in July should see James Bethell’s charge go very close. Cote d'Azur was narrowly beaten when last seen at the track in November and Amplification found only one too good at Redcar last time though that was in April last year.
Aloysius Lilius ended a long losing run over 6f at Wolverhampton when making a successful trip over from Ireland. Spirit Power also arrives in good form having landed a double last month and beat TATHMEEN over track and trip for the first of those wins. But the latter re-opposes on better terms today despite a 2lb rise for winning a higher grade sprint over course and distance last week and looks worth sticking with. Mutabaahy scored at Wolverhampton at the end of last year but is 9lb higher today while Big Lachie won this in 2018 but has a bit to find with a couple of these as does Gowanbuster.
Rated 78, Rideson sets the standard but has now returned a losing favourite in all four outings after coming up short again over a longer trip at Wolverhampton. MANAABIT is preferred as she showed major improvement at Kempton last time and the Haggas yard has an impressive strike at this venue. Betushka and Zere are likely to finish closer today and Red Dragoness has placed in a bumper over 1m4f while the newcomer Defence Girl is a full-sister to maiden winner Aegeus, who co-incidentally runs earlier on the card.
Morrooj and Alamora finished fourth on their respective debuts in separate divisions of the same race over 7f at Kempton. Both showed enough promise to suggest they can figure in the finish over this longer trip but SALSADA is taken to edge affairs. The latter found only one too good in what looked a tougher novices' race over track and trip last month and may prove good enough. The Mackem Missile is related to five winners and preferred to Scherzo and Party Planner of the newcomers.
I Know How won over track and trip back in December and is 4lb higher on his return while Ghathanfar has been off the track since October having won over 7f here last year. De Bruyne Horse was narrowly beaten in a lower grade contest at the track last month though Lucky Lodge is preferred back at this level having won under today’s apprentice here earlier and can go close again. But REDESDALE REBEL has the most scope of these having made all for a wide-margin victory over course and distance last time and there looks more to come from Susan Corbett’s charge now handicapping.
GUNMAKER has now been beaten less than a length on his last three outings after just missing out over track and trip last time. He’s the most likely to run his race and may get his head in front on this occasion given the weakness of today’s opposition. Stablemate Zebulon hasn’t been at this best lately but has past form at the track while One One Seven won a classified event at Wolverhampton earlier and Ishebayorgrey scored over 7f at the same track back in November. Strawberryandcream was placed over 7f here recently and Loretta is the least exposed dropping back down in trip.