Great Britain Preview: Spot Plays for Lingfield
Weather is wreaking havoc with British and Irish racing at present, with numerous jumps race meetings being called off due to the cold weather making the surfaces unfit for racing.
It’s at this point that British racing authorities are thankful to have added synthetic racetracks to the local circuit. So while the National Hunt scene is day-to-day in terms of knowing whether they’ll be having a race day, the all-weather surfaces are living up to their name.
Several all-weather tracks will be racing in the next few days, with the prime one being at Lingfield, which hosts a Listed race and a good quality handicap.
TwinSpires is offering its Rest of the World Bet Back on all races at Lingfield this Saturday, so anyone who opts in can get up to $10 of their win bet back if their horse finishes second, provided there are at least six runners. So let’s have a look at some of them.
Race 3, 8:15 a.m. ET: Live Streamed Races Handicap, 5 furlongs, 3-year-olds and up
Ten horses line up in this Class 5 handicap. It looks an even contest, but perhaps the one to beat is #3 Yimou. He has been consistent in several races at Chelmsford recently, finishing second in a Class 4 handicap there Dec. 1. At his last Lingfield start, he was also second in Class 5 company Sept. 20. Cieren Fallon takes the mount and should have him right in the mix here.
#4 Bethersden Boy, #5 Mick’s Spirit, and #6 Amor De Mi Vida are good options for exotics.
Race 6, 10:00 a.m. ET: Winter Oaks Trial Handicap, 1 1/4 miles, 3-year-old and up fillies and mares
Six horses at present are set to line up for this event. None look to be out of it, but the market is focused on #3 Queen Of Ipanema and #2 Sea Tsarina.
Queen Of Ipanema is in a rich vein of form for trainer George Boughey. After a terrible start to her career, where the closest she got to the winner in three starts was nine lengths away, she’s won her next five. It appears the main thing she needed was distance, for all her victories have been at more than a mile.
At her latest race, she scored by a neck at Wolverhampton over 1 1/2 miles. Whether she has the speed to come back two furlongs is the big question, but she does have William Buick’s services.
Unlike Queen Of Ipanema, who’s never raced on anything but artificial surfaces, Sea Tsarina has just the one start off the turf. It was a successful one, however, when she scored comfortably at this track Aug. 9 over one mile. She has not raced any further than a mile, and though her sire Sea The Stars is very much a stamina influence, her Australian-bred damsire Exceed and Excel is very much about speed, so her ability to stay the trip isn’t certain.
Given these doubts I’m going to have a look at #6 Tahasun. She has been on the improve and at her last start scored by a neck at this track over 1 1/4 miles. She could surprise at odds.
- $10 win/$20 place: #6 Tahasun
Race 7, 10:33 a.m. ET: Quebec Stakes (Listed), 1 1/4 miles, 3-year-olds and up
Again there are only six horses here, but they are headed by the admirable #1 Algiers. A Group 3 winner at Jebel Ali in Dubai in February, Algiers was gelded in July and has run well in three starts since. At his most recent run, he was just overhauled on the line by the highly regarded Missed The Cut in the Listed Churchill Stakes Nov. 12. A repeat of that run should see him win here.
The best betting options here are probably exotics. #3 Harrovian and #2 Forest Of Dean, third and fifth, respectively, in the Churchill Stakes, should be included, as should the improving #6 Makinmedoit.
- $30 win: #1 Algiers
- $2 trifecta: 1 with 2, 3, 6 with 2, 3, 6