Good morning all,
I realise that it’s AW Finals Day at Lingfield but I have to be honest and say the whole card has little appeal as a betting medium, and in fact all three cards today are a bit disappointing.
When you consider the Sprint winner was getting 93k in 2018 and will pick up 38k tomorrow, it perhaps isn’t that surprising that the card hasn't got the appeal it has had in recent years.
I’m happy to sit most of it out, and concentrate on the weekend’s cards, which from my punting perspective are much more in my wheelhouse. Instead, I have four from my visit to Stratford earlier in the week that ought to be making it pay in the future.
Falberto (Jake Coulson)
It was only a seller that Falberto won at Stratford on Monday but he looked very fit for this after an 89-day break, and was a picture of health. He put that fitness to good use, making all and finding plenty for pressure as one by one they came to have a crack at him, but he fought them all off for a most game victory, beating higher-rated rivals in the process.
This was his first start for the yard after leaving Sam Thomas (not the first time the trainer has won with one first time up – 100/1 winner Quivvy Lough had left Olly Murphy to join them before his Uttoxeter win last year, a little micro-angle of its own there) and connections were very quick to respond to any bids for him in the ring after, going to 9000gns to keep him. They’re clearly keen to keep him and given this was only his 11th start, there’s a good chance of more to come and when the ground is good or better, he’ll be winning again.
Zahraani (John Jenkins)
Here’s one right out of leftfield. In 15 starts Zahraani has one place to show for his efforts, that coming in a 1m4f maiden at Thirsk back in 2019 but I did spot him hitting the line quite strongly at Stratford on Monday, and despite finishing tenth, was only beaten 20l.
That made me want to go and have a look to see if there was anything even remotely of interest about him, and it was the first time he’d tried a trip after racing exclusively over two miles. So there was that. His dam was a full sister to Frolic Along, who John also trained, and she popped up at 25-1 over 2m4f at Southwell on good ground after showing next to nothing previously either. So there’s that too.
If they step him up to 3m on good ground he might reward some each-way support if they can find a race bad enough. Problem will be getting him in one without being too far out of the handicap, as he’s only rated 77 now (and will go down again after this) but I’ll be at least keeping an eye out for him.
Crystal Moon (Alan King)/Teddy The Knight (Adrian Wintle)
By far the pick of the paddock for the closing bumper was Alan King’s Crystal Moon, who I’d describe as very un-King like in physique. Alan’s tend to be smaller, more compact, athletic types but Crystal Moon is really lengthy and well put together, plenty of power at the back and has the physique to make up into a nice hurdler.
He looked unlucky on his debut at Plumpton, stumbling at a key time but staying on well all the way to the line, and looked sure to take a hand here. Now, whether he underperformed because of the quicker ground or this just came too quickly after Plumpton I don’t know, but he didn’t run his race at all, and disappointed. He must be better than this, given his breeding (first foal of an unraced sister to Chantry House) and is worth another chance.
The other I liked on paddock looks was Adrian Wintle’s Teddy The Knight, a tall, imposing individual that looks like he wants some obstacles sooner rather than later. He’d shown some promise on his bumper debut at Warwick but found this all happening too quickly. Back on a more galloping track and with some hurdles, he can do better.
Those wanting a bet at Lingfield today could take a look at my old friend Tinto in the sprint at 3.10. He's hard to catch right and has a bit of ground to make up on Exalted Angel on ther running here in February but this will be run to suit his come-late style and if the gaps open at the right time, he can go close. Stall 7 means he'll get cover, which he needs, and with 5 places on offer with Skybet, that looks worth a small e/w investment.
Good luck with all your bets today,