Thursday Horse Racing: Playfull Spirit is the NAP at Lingfield6 min read
The declarations for the 2018 2000 Guineas will be announced this morning with Aiden O’Brien likely to run both Gustav Klimt – – and Racing Post Trophy winner Saxon Warrior, with the latter the best-backed horse in recent days.
Ryan Moore will not be at Newmarket on Saturday as he has been confirmed to ride the recent Dubai winner Mendelssohn in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday night. O’Brien has never saddled the winner of the Run for the Roses but his colt is to break his duck on Saturday night.
He was flattered to win his prep race by no less than 19 lengths given there was a “golden highway” at Meydan on World Cup night and whoever got to the lead on the dirt track did appear to have a big advantage.
Not the greatest days’ racing today but there is a competitive card at Lingfield and I hope to see Smiley Bagel (2.00) go one better than last time when beaten a short head over C&D off the same mark.
The gelding has run five times at Lingfield and his form figures read 11232 although regular pilot Richard Kingscote is not in the saddle this afternoon with Pat Cosgrave taking over for the first time.
Belated Breath showed she had the pace for six furlongs when scoring at Wolverhampton back in March and her opening mark looks fair returning from a short break.
She must run well but Playfull Spirit (4.30) hinted she might be best served dropping back in trip when third to the impressive Sheikha Reika at Newmarket (7f) and it should be noted she is half-sister to decent sprinters Charming Thought and Spanish City.
At Musselburgh this evening I expect to see a better show from Birdette stepped up in trip with Joe Fanning on board for Mark Johnston, but Amadeus (6.10) showed much improved form to make all in a poor race on fibresand last time and can follow up.
The selection is 10lbs higher today, but the time was decent and the way he hung right suggested he would not be inconvenienced by racing right-handed this evening.
The feature race is a mile-and-a-half handicap and dual Catterick winner Riviere Argentee must prove she is equally effective away from the north Yorkshire track. Karl Burke’s filly must carry a 6lbs penalty tonight and I just favour Northwest Frontier (7.10) for the same connections as Amadeus.
The gelding has been blinkered for his last couple of starts but Richard Fahey dispenses with the headgear tonight and he has bits of form, which suggest he is well up to winning a small race off this mark.
There was plenty of rain due to hit Edinburgh on Wednesday and that should suit Elite Icon (8.40) who finished the season with a win on heavy ground at Carlisle back in September. He might have more to offer over staying trips this term for Iain Jardine.
There is a good 3-y-old sprint at Redcar with a number of big yards represented including the unpenalised pair of Angel’s Glory (2.40) & Left Alone with marginal preference for the former who is trained by Roger Varian.
The selection was not beaten too far in a very good Newmarket maiden (7f) back in October and I hope to see the filly make a winning comeback in what promises to be a most informative and competitive event.
The Mile handicap for three-year-olds is a belter and likely favourite Poet’s Prince has won two of his last three on the all-weather but I hope Sha La La La Lee (3.40) can follow up last month’s Wolverhampton win over seven furlongs.
The selection finished second at Doncaster back in September and is likely to appreciate the step back up in trip this afternoon. Tom Dascombe has his string in very good form and I will be disappointed if his son of Helmut did not go close in another informative heat.
Sha La La La Lee