The jumps season is in full swing and we have a good value bet over hurdles at Wetherby, though in truth Lingfield is taking centre stage as we have four good bets there from two top class stables.
We have an early start so be on the ball and we are straight in with the 12.25 which boasts a potential classic runner for next season.
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12.25 Lingfield (EBF Novice Stakes) – NEW KING
Once we take away all the likely outsiders and no-hopers in this race and realise the best two horses with experience are liable to run to a mark of somewhere in the mid-70’s perhaps, we realise that this won’t take too much winning for one of the two good looking newcomers in the field.
Those newcomers are Saeed Bin Suroor’s Winter Sky for Godolphin, an Invincible Spirit filly, and John Gosden’s Frankel colt New King who has a Derby entry for next summer for the Qatar Racing group.
Gosden these days sends some of his better young horses to the all-weather to break maidens, especially at this time of year evidenced when the likes of Stradivarius and Enable got off the mark at Newcastle in the past and this New King could yet be the latest superstar to come out of Clarehaven.
The excellent Rab Havlin gets the chance to take the ride but don’t be surprised to see this one in something like the Dante next May at York under Frankie Dettori.
1.35 Lingfield (Handicap) – ORIGINAL CHOICE
Much like Addeybb in the Listed race (see below) this horse has done very well on the turf for William Haggas but has often shown a liking for softer ground though in truth he can run right up to his best on just about anything and is well fancied to grab a deserved win in this after a tough enough season.
His only previous run on the all-weather came way back in April 2017 but it’s worth noting that he ran easily his best race to date on that day at Wolverhampton and it’s not thought this slightly different surface holds any fears for him.
The 4yo has been running for big money in all the right handicaps this term on the grass, often placed as well, but now he comes to the races after a well needed 8-week break and as such he is a much fresher horse for this assignment. James Doyle rides for one of the top trainers on the circuit.
6yo’s Chevallier of Archie Watson’s yard and Salateen of David O’Meara’s are next on the short list and can go well at reasonable prices, hopefully without getting to our chap at the front end.
2.45 Lingfield (Churchill Stakes – Listed Race) – ADDEYBB
OK, let’s deal with the negatives first. This is a debut on the all-weather for William Haggas’ Lincoln Handicap and Group 2 winner after an underwhelming run in the Lockinge Stakes in May, a long break then an awful run on Champions Day at Ascot in October. He also prefers pretty deep ground, carries a 7lb penalty and he’s set to go off favourite for this. Are you put off yet?
Maybe. However, at his best he is a class apart and has been contesting Group 1 races for a reason. His opposition here, weights considered, are all expected to be within a pound or two of each other leaving Addeybb as the only one who could prove to be a level above the rest.
William Haggas has commented that he was too fresh for his run in the QEII and that he was wound up by the horse next to him in the stalls making him run with the choke out, so we expect a different animal this weekend. Trained by one of the best, he needs a run but has not been rushed back in after Ascot and should be ready to run to his best now which makes him too good for this opposition.
2.50 Wetherby (Introductory Hurdle) – KAJAKI
Tim Vaughan’s 4yo Tight Call is expected to be all the rage having won two in a row now at Stratford and Hereford but in truth, despite how well he won on those occasions, he really hasn’t beaten much and carries the same weight as Kevin Ryan’s five-year-old Kajaki who could be the value selection in the race.
The son of Mastercraftsman made his hurdling debut four weeks ago having reached a mark of 84 on the Flat earlier this year and was successful at Sedgefield, scoring by five lengths.
He was probably better than the bare form suggested that day and he has the chance to prove it against Tight Call today with Henry Brooke now taking over in the saddle from Brian Hughes.
3.15 Lingfield (Golden Rose Stakes – Listed Race) – MUTHMIR
William Haggas could yet be on for a Listed Race double and a treble on the card at Lingfield as old favourite Muthmir must be considered banging good value for this race.
The old-timer is traditionally known as a five furlong horse but on several occasions he’s been getting there all the time over the minimum trip but just not catching the leaders making this extra furlong perhaps good for him now. Back in early 2016 he ran right up to what at the time was his top class best on this surface and hasn’t been afforded another chance until now and it’s thought he can go really well.
He and last year’s winner Gifted Master appear to be the two to concentrate on but despite giving the likely favourite 3lbs this could well prove to be Muthmir’s day and at a nice price too under the very good Daniel Tudhope.