For this week’s Saturday weekender we head first to Lingfield and the 15:40. A listed race ran over an extended five furlongs.
Pretend heads the betting here for trainer Charlie Appleby and ridden by Adam Kirby. That combination is always to be given maximum respect and Pretend comes here on the back of a Class 2 victory at Wolverhampton. That was over six furlongs and he drops to the minimum distance for the first time in his career. That drop in distance combined with the rise in class may be enough to deny him back to back wins.
With that in mind and the forecast short odds the selection here will be the Andrew Balding trained Dungannon. Winner here on his penultimate start under today’s rider he looked sure to follow up at Southwell last time but was headed close home. On the Lingfield win he looks certain to be thereabouts, the draw is unkind but the 8 year old is adaptable regards running style and with a very capable jockey on board he has a massive chance of gaining his 11th career win.
Royal Bajan could go well at a price and if getting an easy time upfront could grab a place.
For the last two selections we head to Wolverhampton. The First of which runs in the 18:45, a class 2 conditions stakes ran over an extended five furlongs.
Primrose Valley looks to complete a four timer here to add to her excellent all weather record. Highly tried in 2014 she returned this year at a more realistic level and has racked up three victories, improving with each run. The conditions give her a real chance and Jockey Frederik Tylicki knows her better than any. With that said she has done a fair bit of racing this year and today’s race looks very competitive.
The selection here will be the Mark Johnston trained Mukhmal. It was well reported in the press last season when the trainer had an unbelievably poor autumn and as a result they could have some horses running off handy marks, as well as being overlooked in the market based on any runs during that period. Mukhmal contested races against some very good horses, and was not in any way out of his depth. He has been gelded and at a fair price he should make the frame and could easily be in front from start to finish here.
Wentworth Falls looks to be the main danger to the selection, he looked impressive when winning at Kempton and its easy to excuse the defeat at Chelmsford. He is another who should finish in the money.
The final selection runs in the 19:45. A Nine furlong maiden.
Zaaneh lines up here for trainer William Haggas and looks a very interesting horse for the coming season. It could be that he is given an easy introduction here and regardless of his finishing position here could be one to note for the season ahead.
Opito Bay is another in the line-up who will surely go on to better things. Related to plenty of winners she will likely be another ridden with the future in mind and given her purchase price will probably not be given to hard a time if challenged.
The selection will be Passionate Spirit, trained by Tom Dascombe and ridden by Richard Kingscote, another who makes his debut here and could upset his more expensive rivals. If he is able to stay the distance and if the Gelding operation has corrected any problems that may have led to this belated debut he could cause an upset in a tricky looking contest.
Passionate Spirit (E/W)