We’re set for very heavy ground at Lingfield on Sunday, but those conditions could be right up the street of Tony Calvin’s only tip of the day…
It was incredibly hard going for the combatants at Lingfield on Friday and you would think the ground promises to be even more attritional on Sunday, now it has been opened up, and the covers re-laid in vulnerable areas.
And when it gets that bad – and we had horses with proven form on heavy being pulled out late on Friday – picking winners can prove something of a lottery.
More so than usual.
Danilo appeals most but no bet
I was going to say some of the youngsters won’t know what has hit them in these conditions in the 13:20 but there are no 5yos and all of these are either experienced from the point and chase fields, or on going this deep.
Even so, 2m7f around here will not be for the faint hearted for these relatively inexperienced novices and whether or not Ballygriffincottage, the classiest horse on show here – well, on the evidence of his hugely promising third to the now-sidelined Blazing Khal at Cheltenham – will be in his element, I am not sure.
So I can let him slide by, and the one that interested me most was the 120-rated 9yo chaser, Danilo D’Airy, fresh from his handicap win at Ffos Las over 3m1f in heavy last month.
He definitely lacks the obvious class of the Dan Skelton horse and the Irish raider Fameaftertheglory but his ability to handle the slop could count for more and, as he is around five times the price, he appeals more for a bet at 12/1+ than the top two in the market.
But I don’t think there is much need to go looking too hard for an interest here, given the unknowns.
Arry absence could shake up the betting
Shakem Up’Arry has been entered in 13:50 but at the time of filing he is set to run in the opener at Haydock on Saturday, so his no-show in this five-runner race will have a big impact on not just the betting, but on the each-way terms.
Il Ridoto possibly looks the one to be with in here, as he looked very impressive when winning off a mark of 131 at Newbury and connections were tempted (after initially appearing to be lukewarm on the idea) by the big Grade 1 pot of the Henry VIII just a week later, for which he went off a 6/1 chance.
That backfired, as he didn’t run his race and presumably found the race coming too soon, but he has been given a break since and he could get back on track here. But he is 3/1, and we are probably looking at a hefty Rule 4, in a tight-knit race, ratings-wise, and I have seen more attractive bets at those skinny odds.
Goshen worth chancing if price drifts a bit
I was going to take a chance on Goshen if he was 9/2 or bigger on the exchange in the 14:25
Brewin’upastorm and Darver Star vie for favouritism and rightly so, as the former would have probably won the Relkeel but for falling at the last and the latter, the 2020 Champion Hurdle third, was right back in the grove when winning at Punchestown last time.
That comment will probably have people laughing me out of house and home considering Goshen is no winning machine, but what he has here is heavy ground and the likelihood of an uncontested lead should his jockey want it (you should, Jamie) and that could see him finally reproduce that Kingwell form once again.
He was rated 164 after that Wincanton win, so he would win this if the handicapper was right and he returns to that level here, and I just hope they ride a positive race on him. If they do, then I think this contest could be his for the taking.
As I said on Racing Only Bettor, I backed him at 9/2 on Friday morning, and pressed up at 5s, but he is not into 3/1 with the Sportsbook, and heading south of 4s of the exchange, so I am going to do my price-sensitive thing and pass.
If he hits 9/2 again before the race, I’d say he was worth a bet, though.
Itchy Feet would be my nominal vote in the ?150k 2m6f chase at 15:00, as he comes here in good form, with ground and trip to suit.
Then again, a price of around 11/2 is no great shakes in this grade, especially with a possible Rule 4 incoming, if Fanion D’Estruval if he goes to Ascot on Saturday afternoon (which he looks like doing at the time of writing).
Grueling condition just the type of challenge needed
Don’t let your kids watch the 3m5f Surrey National at 15:35, mums and dads, as it is probably only around evens the commentator uses the word “brutal” on the run-in.
Brutal is how Just Your Type likes it though and, while the opening 14/1 was gobbled up on Friday evening – as did the next price down at 11/1, which pleased me no end, obviously – even the revised 9s each-way, five places, is handsome enough.
You will get bigger win-only on the exchange, but I want the extra places on my side in here.
We were on him at 25/1 each-way when he just about rewarded our each-way support when fourth in the Tommy Whittle last time, and he is 2lb lower here in a much weaker handicap.
He is 3lb below his last winning mark (over 3m2f at Uttoxeter in November 2020, a race in which he came back for more and nailed it on the line after looking beaten, having traded at 31/1 in running), he handles heavy, he ran okay against Sam Brown on his only start at this track and he was second in a Border National over 4m back in 2019.
He can hit the odd one but the fences here could be stiffer, so, throwing it all into the mix, he looks a very fair bet. The stable form is decent nick too, and he races off a career-low mark here.
We have some high-class horses on show in ITV’s two races from Thurles – chief among them last year’s star performer from Cheltenham, Allaho – but unfortunately not too many of them, so I can park the copy here and now.
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