Great Britain Preview: Spot Plays Jan. 21, 2023

January 20th, 2023

Cold weather in Britain means one of the main jumps meets of the weekend at Ascot, featuring the Clarence House Chase (G1) and Mares’ Hurdle (G2), has been abandoned. For now the Haydock meet, which features four Grade 2 events, is still on, though things aren’t looking great there either.

Given these doubts, the best meet for fans of U.K. racing to bet on this weekend may be the Lingfield Polytrack card. Eight races are scheduled, the most notable of which are a 105-rating handicap for fillies and mares and a 95-rating sprint handicap.

Lingfield, Race 6, 9:47 a.m. ET: Winter Oaks Fillies’ Handicap, 1 1/4 miles, 4-year-old and up fillies and mares

With £100,000 ($124,000) up for grabs, this has drawn some decent all-weather distaffers. Three of the runners — #3 Al Agaila, #2 Makinmedoit, and #6 Tequilamockingbird — were the first three home, in that order, in the Winter Oaks trial Dec. 22. Al Agaila won easily that day and will meet Makinmedoit seven pounds worse in the handicap and Tequilamockingbird 10 pounds worse. However, Al Agaila won so well that it may not make much difference.

Racing for the first time since Nov. 30 is #1 Purple Ribbon, whose last race was a second-place finish in the Listed Wild Flower S. at Kempton, a neck from the winner. This is an easier task, but she has to give away between four and 22 pounds to her opponents.

The best form from the others comes from #4 Morgan Fairy, a winner here Dec. 31, but this is tougher. I’m going to take Purple Ribbon and Al Agaila to fight it out.

Lingfield, Race 7, 10:22 a.m. ET: Class 3 Handicap, 5 furlongs, 4-year-olds and up

Eight sprinters line up here, and it looks a fairly even lineup. It could go any way, with #1 The Bell Conductor, #2 Strong Power, #3 Lord Riddiford, #5 Stone of Destiny, and #7 Pop Dancer all having claims.

However, I’m going with the consistent #4 Silky Wilkie. He’s a hardy thought and though he’s backing up a week after finishing second here Jan. 14, he looks likely to be suited by cutting back to five furlongs.

  • $10 win/$20 show: #4 Silky Wilkie