Interesting low grade all weather handicap. Keep The Secret won a maiden over this trip at Lingfield on polytrack back in December 2012 on debut, but showed nothing in 4 runs last summer in handicaps including back over that CD, clearly needs to show more for all mark has dropped again.
John Potts has had a good winter picking up 2 of these recently, further 4lb rise for the latest. Not won off this mark for over 3 years also unlikely to get an easy time up front with Shahrazad in the field.
Secret Succes won over CD on penultimate start in September before failing to land a blow last time out on turf, possibly worth forgiving that with underfoot soft conditions, didn’t show anything fresh last year and usual tongue tie left off so may need the run.
Automotive would be more at home over a bit further but it may be the case they try front run with him to stretch this lot although wide draw wont help.
Shifting Star is largely consistent at present and is on a very lenient mark but losing run is stacking up and all best form has been over a little shorter.
Divine Rule picked up a race that fell apart and that is what he needs, 3lb rise leaves him vulnerable off this sort of mark.
Katmai River is hard to win with but does know how to win and has had a good season under this apprentice, further 2lb rise for latest 2nd leaves him now 6lb above last winning mark.
Tijuca is the slightly more interesting one, she has found her form just recently and won in the first time cheekpieces on penultimate start off a 3lb lower mark. Failed to land a blow last time out in a race not run to suit in a small field, but still ran as if in form over a shorter than ideal 7f. Step back up to mile sure to suit with the chance of a more truly run race with apprentice of the moment taking off the 3lb so looks well treated back over this trip.
2pt win Tijuca 8/1 bet365
Typically strong competitive card from Pontefract!
This race is somewhat easier than what Sennockian Star contested last season but might be a little high in the weights at present.
Clayton has a reasonable record fresh and acts on soft ground but remains 3lb above last winning mark and although not fully exposed needs to find more.
Stepping Ahead looks another held by his current despite a decent record on soft ground, poor effort latest aswell.
Centurius was a beaten favourite last time out, sure to come on for that run but clearly not the easiest to win with. Cheekpieces need to bring about a lot more to being winning something like this.
Amralah is an interesting runner, totally forget last run outclassed in group 3. Sure to have better chance back in a handicap 7lb above last winning mark, record fresh respectable and acts on this ground.
Las Verglas Star loves testing conditions but well over a year since last win and this may not be testing enough for him.
Easy Terms might be the one to side with here, very good record fresh lightly raced in recent times but useful performer under this trainer and has now dropped 3lb below last winning mark, has won over CD in the past and should go well again if ready after the winter.
1pt e/w Easy Terms 12/1 bet365
Good handicap for a Monday although most of these are running for the first time this season and we have seen already this season those fit from AW have had an advantage over those not run.
Eurato makes his British debut appeared show good form in France hard to say what that equates to in this country, and that was all over much further although will appreciate soft conditions today.
Tobacco Road represents top connections around here but disappointed off 1lb higher mark when last seen last year, no record fresh and although still not fully exposed one to tread carefully with at a short price/false price.
Myboyalfie has the benefit of a run recently but didn’t show enough to warrant interest here.
Lunar Deity is somewhat quirky and not the easiest to win with at times, again record fresh poor and mark looks plenty harsh enough on return.
Ogbourne Downs won first time out last season on debut over CD in a maiden, and also won again in handicap over CD off a mark of 79, not so good since away from here but has dropped to a mark of 80 and must have a chance returned to this course and also fresh, interesting one.
There has been plenty of money around for Saigon City this morning which is interesting, having gone well on debut last season before winning two mile handicaps at Notts and Yarmouth, up 5lb for those and wasn’t beaten by stamina when stepping up in trip when last seen. Clearly needs to find a little more on that but is with a top yard and far from fully exposed yet.
Fleckerl is another unexposed sort with just 3 runs and has won 2 of those, something didn’t look right with him when last seen 56 days ago need to bounce back.
My Son Max another fit from AW antics, won a southwell seller recently and fair effort back in handicap last time out. Not so good on turf and therefore races off a much lower mark.
It might be worth taking a risk with another fit from the AW circuit in Luhaif who looks massively overpriced. He is ideally suited to getting an uncontested lead which he has struggled to get on the AW but there don’t look any other obvious front runners in this contest so he may get a soft lead in which case he would be dangerous. His form on turf is perhaps a little more patchy but is therefore 10lb lower on turf and he could be a real threat.
1pt e/w Luhaif 25/1 bet365
This is a wide open affair with plenty of these having something to prove and a few questionable characters.
I don’t think Doldrums will be with these connections for long she is a moody performer who clearly has ability but prefers to run more bad races than good ones and is one to tread very carefully with and yet to try turf.
Treasure The Ridge showed plenty in Ireland, but yet to show much for this yard on the AW in 2 starts a return to turf may help but more needed.
Golden Jubilee has been kept quite busy on the AW this winter and running respectably most starts, didn’t shape as good last time out and it may be a case he has gone over the top based on that plus this mark might be high enough.
Shades Of Silver makes handicap debut having shown limited level of ability in maidens and mark looks plenty harsh enough for now.
Civil War comes here fit from hurdles and was in some sort of form over hurdles, but soundly beaten favourite last twice. Form on the flat looks very patchy in Ireland but has taken a fall in the ratings so sound chance if able to produce his best but looks plenty short enough.
Afro won over this trip at Southwell in a 4 runner event before being beaten 9lengths into 2nd last time out over same CD off revised mark. Cheekpieces added to the hood today and his only turf win came on soft ground so any further rain will help his cause.
Modem showed a fair level over form in 3 maidens including around here over a mile on soft ground before stepping up in trip dramatically on the AW this winter, that has paid dividends with 4 solid runs with 1 win, only beaten just over a length latest when plenty keen enough without the blinkers on, blinkers back on today and a 1lb lower and if proving as effective back on turf over this trip he could be a huge danger.
1pt win Modem 8/1 coral
1pt win Afro 9/1 coral
Strange looking handicap with a few unknowns in this field but one has caught my eye.
Great Demeanor has shown nothing on flat or over hurdles recently, dropped to a good looking mark but needs to show more.
Pretty Bubbles has proved extremely costly to follow this winter, beaten favourite 5 times from last 8 starts. Well held last time out and now tries this surface for the first time since a maiden run here last August and didn’t overly convince on surface.
Wyldfire only has a maiden win to his name but that came at this time last year when fresh, has dropped a long way in the weight since then but when last seen badly out of sorts and yet to try an AW surface.
Midaz has shown little in 4 runs to date including on handicap debut when not going unbacked last autumn at Kempton. Also had a maiden run on this surface showing nothing so clearly risky but still early days from a respected yard.
Im Super Too doesn’t have the best record fresh and one try here wasn’t inspiring.
Fair Wing has form around here and has dropped to 6lb below last winning mark and has top apprentice jockey taking off 3lb off. The main concern is this trip is possibly too far on this surface wins have come over 6f and 5f and always shown speed around here.
The one that interests me in a race full of questions is Real Tigress impossible to make any sense of her form in Spain to this country but it is interesting they have decided to start her off on this surface given she has form on heavy ground in Spain and that usually translates around here. Also she has gone well fresh in the past.
2pt win Real Tigress 5/1 bet365
As far as I am concerned this race has a false favourite simply based on connections and jockey booking, finished last season badly out of form but slipped to 2lb below last winning mark. Its worth noting all 3 wins have come in small fields so that is atleast a bonus today but clearly has something to prove for now and no great shakes fresh.
Mias Boy is consistent but not a regular winner these days and losing stretch is stretching back now, this mark is extremely feasible but this trip stretches him and will find it tough.
Ree’s Rascal won fresh last year but is still 1lb above last winning mark and all best form has come at Kempton.
Syncopate was narrowly beaten last time out 1lb higher mark today, been a little inconsistent recently and just as likely to throw a poor run here.
Dandy was soundly beaten on one try on this surface and has a poor record fresh easy enough to swerve now.
Appease is lightly raced and been running ok this winter without winning since September and looks interesting stepped back up in trip.
Veeraya is another interesting runner stepping up in trip. She has shaped well in 3 starts for this yard and has twice run as if a step up in trip would suit. Shelley Birkett has ridden Lingfield really well a couple times this winter and I have said it before but I feel she is an apprentice to watch this summer.
2pt win Veeraya 13/2 bet365
Very uninspiring race with 3 of these racing out of the handicap and of the rest badly out of form bar the obvious favourite who is the obvious starting point.
Adiynara just scraped home last time out over slightly shorter, didn’t appear to be crying out for further but does have the form to suggest she stays this far. 2lb rise fair and still potentially well treated on her Irish form but some time since she showed that and consistency not her strong suit.
Kennys Girl has shown little in handicap company and needs to have improved from when last seen. Isdaal has shown nothing both on the flat and over hurdles this winter and cant be backed. Princess Willow showed some decent enough form last winter but remains a maiden and has shown nothing in 2 runs this winter and handicap slow to relieve the pressure and 2lb out of the handicap today. Lily Edge is also 4lb out of the weights today and has it all to do off this sort of mark on recent efforts.
Pembroke Pride showed first piece of worthwhile form last time out on handicap debut staying despite being hampered but tough ask today running 6lb out of the weights.
Dazzling Valentine might be the small bit of value against a questionable short priced favourite and an uninspiring rest of field. Simply gone through the motions this winter but slightly closer to the action last time out at Lingfield and drops a further 2lb, now 9lb below last winning mark and could take a hand in a weak race.
2pt win Dazzling Valentine 7/2 pp
From one extreme to another in the staying division, some really useful looking sorts in the last qualifier for the finals day.
Castilo Diablo isn’t totally proven over this trip but appeared to stay last time out in similar affair at Lingfield, headgear back on today which he won in January, perhaps wouldn’t want much of a test at this trip with stamina not totally proven.
Noble Silk finished in front of Diablo last time out not fully exposed yet and could have more to offer.
On handicap ratings Ordensitter has a lot to find with this bunch but is atleast proven his well being recently.
Ranjaan was another in that previous conitions race at Lingfield finishing just behind Diablo, he may well appreciate this longer straight given he looked a little caught out at Lingfield but strictly has something to find on ratings again.
Sir Graham Wade rose to be a really useful handicapper in 2012, quiet season last year but on old form would have sound chances needs to prove still has full ability and record fresh poor.
Thecornishcockney is an interesting runner, should strip fitter for recent runs in Meydan for all they have been poor. Made into really useful handicapper over this CD last winter and on ratings is the best off if anywhere near his best.
Renard has something to find on figures but unexposed stepping up in trip and if that is the key to him he could be a threat especially with Ryan Moore in the saddle.
Duchess Of Gazeley looks a very short price, yes she has been in good form this winter and will appreciate this return to further having finished 3rd in the previous contest which many of these contested at Lingfield. Gets plenty of weight from rivals and not without a chance if wide draw doesn’t impede.
Clowance Estate might be worth a chance in this lineup well drawn for a prominent runner and he looked a handicapper going places last year. Respectable effort at best when last seen in the Cesarewitch but prior to that was progressing nicely through the handicap ranks without winning, but both wins have come when he has been fresh so that may be the key to him returning to action here today.
2pt win Clowance Estate 6/1 pp
Really good renewal for the Cammidge Trophy and last years winner lines up again in Jack Dexter, he has a favourites chance having run well in the Ayr Gold Cup and then the Champion Sprint before winining the Wentworth Stakes (listed) over this CD. Carries a 3lb penalty for that and also drying conditions are unlikely to suit against an improving sort.
This trip looks on the short side for Captain Ramius. Same could be said for Heavens Guest in this sort of contest he may need further than 6f. Both Inxile and Jimmy Styles are useful on their day but neither are getting any younger on seasonal reappearances.
Tropics looked a sprinter going places all year winning couple big handicaps during the summer before never getting involved in the Gold Cup for some reason but bounced right back to his best when looking extremely good in a Group 3 at Ascot when last seen. Return to listed company under penalty holds a solid chance especially with the drying conditions under foot likely to suit better than Jack Dexter.
2pt win Tropics 7/2 corals
19 Runners go to post so far in the Lincoln after rain rules out the progressive Captain Cat.
Chookie Royale has been in great form on the AW this winter and unlikely to find this as easy and always been a little better on AW than turf.
Tullius won some weak looking listed and group race last year, struggled in stronger races since then and likely to find this tougher still although ground will suit.
Levitate won here over 7f in November in really good style an 8lb rise, won this race last year off a 16lb lower mark but may still have more to offer.
Sweet Lightning won this off a mark off 104 in 2011 and the Irish version off a mark of 100 last year, not so good this time round in Meydan but better effort latest so cant be totally ruled out in this.
Gabrials Kaka is useful but his tank often empties near the line which has been the case on so many occasions, will appreciate this drop back to a mile. He isn’t fully exposed and could still have more to offer the drier it gets the better.
Off Art has the most likeable profile for me having had just 4 starts winning his last 3, latest off a 4lb lower mark over this trip at Ayr, appears to handle most ground conditions and won fresh last year. Yard in good form with 3 wins from 7 runners over the last 14 days and he looks well worth his place in this lineup and likely to run his race.
1pt e/w Off Art 8/1 coral
Rebellious Guest has had a great winter winning 3 races latest off a 8lb lower mark, not disgraced in Winter Derby latest and likely to run his race again but there for all to see he needs to step up again.
Grendisar has strung 2 good efforts together recently latest behind Shavansky, further 1lb higher so now 6lb above last winning mark likely to run his race again though.
Shavansky beat Grendisar last time out running a career best effort at grand age of 10 under this jockey. 3lb rise fair but another career best needed now in a much hotter race for all he is a likeable sort.
Bishops Castle is one of 2 for Ellison and is first in the betting after a light and consistent campaign last year, clearly goes well fresh and won at Wolves this time last year. Clearly could have more to offer.
The other one is Streets Of Newyork who entered my notebook on his last run at Southwell well clearly not handling the kickback but staying on from a mile back after a tardy start. An opening mark of 77 looks fair and clearly unexposed on the flat and looks a lively outsider on handicap debut from a good draw in stall 6 with the step up in trip likely to suit having looked in need of much further on latest effort.
1pt e/w Streets Of Newyork 10/1 coral
The Best Doctor looks a very short price, the yard are in great form 8 from 16 and have to be respected with top connections but one poor effort in maidens came on this surface at Kempton, looks the sort to make an impact off this lowly mark but whether it is on this surface remains a question and probably worth opposing for that reason.
Wilfred Pickles needs a strong pace to come off of and is unlikely to get that and failed to back up his latest win last time out, remains on a very workable mark but isn’t the easiest to win with.
Tenor isn’t fully exposed but drops back in trip dramatically for season reappearance and therefore has something to prove.
Gaelic Silver is in good heart but in a seller and claimer and therefore has it to prove back in handicap company.
Gracious George has been running respectably but looks pretty much summed up by his mark at present.
Which just leaves Club House who has struck up a good relationship this winter with this apprentice, winning 3 times. Latest on penultimate start over this CD off a 7lb lower mark, easy to forgive latest run over 7f when staying on all too late from a further back than ideal position. Has been fairly prominent in the running this winter and therefore he may be an obvious pace angle and will be thereabouts back over this trip.
2pt win Club House 4/1 VC
Not a huge amount of pace on for a race of this sort so probably going to pay to sit prominently.
Fair Value has gone sometime without a win which is a concern but is on last winning mark if backing up latest effort over CD, still has something to prove.
Picansort needs a strong pace and isn’t guaranteed that, has been running well and last win came off this mark but needs a little bit more to be winning a race like this.
Triple Dream won at Kempton just beating Dangerous Age on penultimate start, totally fluffed the start latest effort and never involved, career best needed off this mark.
Dangerous Age is closely matched with that rival again today having run 2 more respectable races since, but they havnt been much more than respectable suggesting the handicapper has halted his progress now and might be worth opposing for now.
Go Nani Go is yet to win on the AW from a few starts and looks plenty high enough in the weights for now.
Nafa might be worth taking a chance on easing back in grade, gave Tax Free a good race on penultimate start off this mark. Not so good last time out at Wolves but clearly didn’t handle the kickback never travelling well and been given a break again since then so if it was anymore than that hopefully she is fully fit again, her 2nd at the Curragh in the Rockingham Handicap reads very very well in this race and looks overpriced from a good draw and a Kirby booked. Also 2 from 2 around here both over CD!
1pt e/w Nafa 12/1 VC
The flying five at Southwell with plenty of front runners, but shouldn’t be too much of an issue over the straight everyone has the chance to run their own race.
Beacon Tarn looks very short he has won twice around here this winter, fair effort last time out 2lb lower today but still 8lb above last winning mark.
Shawkantango needs a strong pace to come off and should get that here, nothing much at Wolves latest and all recent winning form has come in claimers and still 7lb above last winning mark and never won off a mark this high.
Keep It Dark was consistent when last seen but no record fresh and 2 starts here have been uninspiring, enough to prove.
Alpha Tauri is typically in and out and yet to win over this trip, 4lb higher today looks harsh enough to look elsewhere.
Pull The Pin might be worth a chance, he went off far too hard latest and easily forgiven. His best form on this surface has come over 6f but has plenty of form over 5f, he remains on a workable mark of just 1lb higher than last win and is largely consistent around here.
2pt win Pull The Pin 6/1 VC
Gabrials Hope has been in claimers and sellers last twice and has it all to do returned to handicaps and on this surface.
Auden ran well 2 days ago over a mile around here and will appreciate this step up in trip, concern is he is not the most consistent and didn’t have an easy race 2 days ago probably enough to oppose at a very short price.
Time Square was only beaten a head last time out at Kempton, yet to try this surface so has that to prove.
This looks a good opportunity for Amtired to get back in front. Disappointing last twice on this surface over a mile, will appreciate this step up in trip. Still 3lb above last winning mark but has form off this sort of marks and cant be discounted in this field over this course.
2pt win Amtired 7/2 coral
A poor class 6 event probably the most competitive race of the day says it all really.
Addikt only wins when the money is down and he is probably one of the darkest horses on the AW and you can never get involved with him these days.
Shamiana isn’t fully exposed and could still have more to offer yet, but is clearly proving hard to win with and starting to look potentially a little tripless.
Daniel Thomas is a 12yr old who is struggling for consistency these days and 4lb above last winning mark and clearly not the force of old and best left alone.
Katmai River has been running well enough this winter under this jockey but a long while since he has been competitive off a mark this high and clearly needs to step up on latest effort.
Action Gold makes handicap debut today, not showing a huge amount in maidens but does start off on a basement mark so may have something to offer but best watched.
Just Five might be the safest option in this field. He was 2nd in a class 7 event last time out after a short break, if backing that effort up he has to go close with a decent claimer claiming a further 5lb today and is already running off a 3lb lower mark than his last win at Southwell and atleast he does know how to win.
2pt win Just Five 4/1 VC
Cravat stayed on nicely to win cosily last time out in a fairly weak looking mile handicap at Lingfield last time out. 6lb penalty obviously tougher but use a of a claimer takes 5lb off. Potentially still on a good mark but isn’t always the most reliable but if at his best will prove hard to beat.
Byroness has dropped to a very dangerous mark but has shown nothing last couple starts.
Dividend Dan won last time out narrowly, not fully exposed but up 2lb in a stronger race will have to step up again today.
Nubar Boy also won last time out but over this CD, that form taken a couple of boosts, 5lb higher today fair, does have form off higher marks so not without a chance. Hill Of Dreams was behind Nubar last time out by just short of lengths gets a 6lb turn around in the weights and has proved consistent over this CD last 3 starts, he is 5lb below last winning mark and clearly working his way back to form at present and has to go very close.
2pt in Hill Of Dreams 10/3 bet365
My Son Max won a 3 runner course seller but this looks much tougher and yet to win at this trip.
Skytrain has dropped below his last winning mark but didn’t show enough on return to action last time out and yet to try fibresand although yard do well here with runners.
Sound Advice has only had one try on this surface on penultimate start when beaten by the inform Noble Citizen, runs off the same mark today, could have more to offer on this surface but does need to find a little more still 2lb above last winning mark.
Piceno was becoming a little hit and miss when last seen a couple of months ago and needs to come back here in better form after a break off a 2lb higher mark.
Caledonia Prince looks plenty high enough in the weights on this return from 10 months off. Silly Billy goes well here but is another that looks just about right in the weights at present.
Exclusive Waters looks the best option having bolted up over CD 2 weeks ago in a 5 runner event on the back of a good 2nd here both under this young jockey. A 4lb rise looks very lenient and clearly unexposed on this surface and could yet have more to offer.
2pt win Exclusive Waters 85/40 VC
A tight looking handicap this one.
Indian Affair has been running respectably on polytrack recently but isn’t a regular winner and yet to try this surface.
Only Ten Percent used to be useful around here but has largely struggled in handicaps including around here recently, did win a seller in January but quickly back in shell back in handicaps and can only be watched.
Greenhead High scored narrowly at Wolves last time out 1lb higher today and remains on a good mark on his best form and does act around here if continueing in the same form.
Pick A Little won a CD handicap scoring in convincing style 6lb rise makes things tougher but is 3 from 3 around here and hasn’t always been the most consistent but has now rattle up a double now.
Another looking for the hatrick is Masai Moon, has scored over this CD the last twice off much reduced marks, doing it the hard way from the back before getting up nicely to score, 4lb rise looks extremely lenient given he still remains 4lb below his winning mark in Aug 2012 and has won over CD off a mark of 79 at his best now running off 69 clearly thriving at present.
2pt win Masai Moon 4/1 VC
Just the 5 runners going to post but one of these has recently gone in my notebook and hopefully we can get our money back today.
Given the small field there shouldn’t be a shortage of pace given 4 of these other than Ask The Guru are prominent runners which could set it up for him.
Desert Strike hasn’t won off a mark this high for some time now and looks similar story today in this field.
Roys Legacy is another with a mark looking on the high side at present and not so good last time out.
Billy Red is badly out of shape but has been held up recently which doesn’t usually suit him is on a good mark though.
This is a stronger race than what Pharoh Jake usually runs in and remains 5lb above last winning mark.
Ask The Guru might take the beating if getting the strong pace expected, not won since maiden debut win but was campaigned at a high level in 2yr old campaign and that impacted on his handicap mark but slowly dropped back to a more realistic mark and has threatened the last twice. Given a questionable ride last time out when trapped wide and challenging late finishing well, runs off the same mark today under professional handling today.
2pt win Ask The Guru 15/8 SJ
Typical class 6 event around lingfield, full of aw handicappers that don’t win very often these days.
Chevise is a typical one that pops up at a big price every now and again, has scored off a mark of 59 last twice and is running off 60 at present probably just about right for now.
Perfect Pastime is very hit and miss, but has dropped to his last winning mark, does need things to fall right and can prove frustrating at times.
West Leake has been running respectably, has dropped 1lb below last winning mark but is better at Kempton than here although recent form comes here one to bear in mind.
Catalinas Diamond won last time out a 2lb rise is fair but again isn’t the sort to follow up.
Teen Ager might be the one to side with, he needs a strong pace but unlike most of these he does usually prove consistent when in form. He remains on a workable mark if the gaps appear.
2pt win Teen Ager 6/1 VC
None of these are bomb proof and its not the easiest race to solve.
Lyric Street comes here from a top yard that don’t have many runners on the flat let alone the fibresand (0 from 4 around here in last 5 years), shown little over hurdles recently, but returns to flat on a lenient looking mark but still only has a Newmarket maiden to his name, also not tries this surface before.
Royal Alcor bolted in here last August off a 26lb lower mark, got a lot to do to overcome a mark this high despite continueing in good form this winter, more needed.
Recession Proof has shown little over the sticks recently since returning after a lengthy layoff but is 1 from 1 around here in an AW bumper and is now 11lb lower than last handicap win.
Returntobrecongill looks plenty high enough in the weights for now. Noguchi has been plying his trade in claimers recently and although clearly in good heart.
ArrKid won over 2 miles over this course on penultimate start by 9 lengths in first time blinkers, 10lb higher and this looks tougher over slightly shorter after a lesser effort on polytrack latest. Blinkers remain and didn’t work last time out although potentially suited by a return to here.
Carlanda has been beaten by Kingscombe the last 2 starts in 4 and 6 runners fields, this looks more competitive off a 2lb higher mark, likely to run his race but could be vunerable to someone better treated.
For me the value probably lies with Storm Hawk likely to be a bigger price in the morning but even 16/1 looks good enough for now. Hasn’t been seen for nearly 2 days having run 3 awful races on polytrack and turf. Its worth noting Storm Hawk is 4 from 5 around here and is 3 from 3 over CD handicapper given him a chance as he is now 2lb below last winning mark around here and not seen around here since that win. If fit enough to do himself justice he is too big to ignore and would love to get the 3 places but we shall see!
1pt e/w Storm Hawk 16/1 coral