Find Your True Destiny at Lingfield6 min read
News yesterday that the brilliant dual Arc-winner Enable will stay in training as a 5-year-old and bid to become the first horse to win Paris showpiece three times. The filly is 3/1 from 4s for the unprecedented Longchamp hat-trick and it is a wonderful gesture by connections to keep the equine superstar in training and keep her broodmare duties on hold for 12 months.
If we saw a superstar over jumps over the weekend it was surely Lalor who is now just 6/1 to win the Racing Post Arkle Trophy back at Cheltenham in March. There won’t be a dry eye in the house if he wins the Grade 1 Novice Chase for Kayley Woolacott whose husband and the gelding’s former trainer died earlier in the year following a battle with mental illness.
Connections waste little time getting Len Brennan – one for Father Ted fans – over fences having stayed on nicely when third at Stratford over 2m 6f on his sole hurdle start last month for Tim Vaughan.
The vote, however, goes to Theclockisticking (2.30) who won a novice hurdle at Fakenham last October and can make a successful transition to the larger obstacles. The selection ran well in his two points back in his native Ireland and has run well over timber in recent months.
Master Of Finance reverts to fences from the same mark as when successful over C&D back in June, but he is not the most fluent of jumpers of a fence and I think Ontopoftheworld (3.00) can make all for the Bowens. The selection is only 3lbs higher than when winning at Newton Abbot last month and he might get a soft lead this afternoon.
The lightly-raced nine-year-old Troufion (12.50) returns from a 570-day absence for Caroline Bailey but he has won his last two, has gone well fresh in the past and is only 2lbs higher than when winning at Huntingdon last time when giving the impression a left-handed track would be more suitable.
In the Veteran’s Chase teenager Vino Griego (1.20) made a pleasing comeback at Sandown nine days ago, in a better contest than today, and the hope is that Gary Moore’s 13-year-old can build on that effort on today’s better ground. It goes without saying that he is the oldest in the field, but he was a class above today’s opponents at his pomp and connections must feel this is a good opportunity back on track so soon after his Esher exertions.
Western Wave (1.50) has been raised 2lbs for finishing second at Chepstow last month but Noel George takes off a valuable 7lbs and the hope is that Tom George can find a bit more improvement from his six-year-old.
The filly Ena Baie (2.50) went off just 7/2 on her British debut when fourth behind Acey Milan in a listed Cheltenham Bumper on New Year’s Day. She has been off the track since and had wind surgery, but Barry Geraghty comes over for the ride in this mares’ novices hurdle.
Recent Bumper winner Prophets Prayer and Uttoxeter hurdles winner Kimberley Point will ensure she doesn’t have things her own way in what is a very good race for the track.
Stop Talking (3.20) has been raised 3lbs for finishing runner up at Chepstow last month when beaten a nose and this lightly-raced maiden can break her duck given that was clearly a career best. Talented conditional Jonjo O’Neill who gave Palmers Hill such a good ride at Cheltenham on Sunday takes over in the saddle this afternoon.
I felt True Destiny (12.40) would have won with a better trip at Wolverhampton last time and, with that in mind, I feel a 1lb higher mark is lenient. Apprentice Adam McNamara keeps the ride for Roger Charlton at Lingfield and connections must feel the step up to nearly two miles will suit.
Keswick has won two of his last three for Heather Main and must go close returning to the scene of his fluent win over C&D back in September. He is a stone higher in the handicap, however, and marginal preference is for Bobby K (2.40) in his first-time cheek-pieces.