The quality jumping cards at Ascot and Haydock have already been called off due to the wintery weather but ITV have stepped up to the plate and have an all weather afternoon coming from Lingfield and Chelmsford which although it’s low quality fayre there’s still eight winners to be found and here’s my thoughts and suggested bets for todays horse racing.
The first of six moderate handicaps on ITV this afternoon this 5F class 5 handicap has attracted a a maximum field of ten. Bar the three ‘rags’ it has a very open look about it with stakes recommended to be kept to a minimum. William Buick is aboard Richard Hughes’s Bethersden Boy and with both trainer and jockey in such fine form should be thereabouts although the three year old gelding hasn’t won since his debut in eleven subsequent starts. Conrad Allen’s Mick’s Spirit is back on his last winning mark which came in a 6 runner sprint handicap here in the summer and is another with claims following his second to Harb over course and distance earlier in the week. The horse racing tip I feel however who can go close is Darryll Holland’s Lilkian who is to be ridden here by 7lb apprentice Liam Wright who’s ridden 5 winners from 64 runners in his short career. The 5 year old chestnut gelding has a good win rate of 9 races from 50 career starts which gets even better when just looking at his all weather runs of 9 wins from 45 starts. He’s now 5lb lower than his last win when beating the re-opposing Mick’s Spirit by 2 1/2L over course and distance back in May and is now 4lb better off. To small stakes he’s worth a small each way wager.
LILKIAN 1/2 point each way @ 13/2 William Hill 1/5th 1234
Another poor class 6 handicap, this time for three year olds and upwards rated 46-57. There’s several here that seem devoid of ability and the favourite and top weight of Newmarket based Chelsea Banham Admirable Lad comes into this contest in fine shape having won three of his last four starts, all under today’s jockey Joey Haynes. In a fog riddled contest at Chelmsford last time he got run down late on by Alafdhal who’s won again since. He stands out to me here and is certain to be thereabouts. Dazzerling is still a maiden after ten starts whilst Epsom trainer Michael Attwater throws two darts at the race with Real Estate (who was behind Admirable Lad last time and looks held) and Lothian, runner up at Kempton when last seen seven weeks ago and has a win record of just the one win from twenty four starts. Basement level stuff but a fairly confident selection in Admirable Lad.
ADMIRABLE LAD 2 points win @ 9/4 bet365
A one mile class 6 0-55 up next with a field of eleven moderate animals lining up. Current favourite is Alice Haynes’ top weight Vitesse Du Son, a winner in the week at Wolverhampton but this looks tougher under a 5lb penalty and is opposable. Robyn Brisland’s Nick Vedder was only half a length behind that one last time out at Wolverhampton and re-opposes on 6lb better terms so has claims but is an infrequent winner. To small stakes it maybe worth an each way bet on Ali Stronge’s five year old Lake Sand who (for this type of company anyway) has a good record at the Essex track. Owned by Laurence Bellman his figures here read 951176344 with the two victories coming here in October 2021 from handicap marks slightly higher than today’s. He ran well enough in fourth on his latest start to suggest his time may be near and with Luke Morris taking the reigns for the first time is worth a speculative each way wager.
LAKE SAND 1/2 point each way @ 13/2 William Hill 1/5th 1234
Fourteen modest handicappers go to post for this class 6 0-60 handicap run over a mile and a half. Jean-Rene Auvray’s three year old Ummsuquaim appeared to improve markedly for a step up to this distance and the removal of blinkers when running out a 28/1 winner over course and distance 17 days ago. Whether we can trust him to reproduce that run is another matter mind. Gary Moore’s Capricorn Prince has a good record at the Sussex track winning four of his eight starts here and is another possible but it may be worth chancing George Boughey’s handicap debutant Vision Of Hope. Boughey is a very capable young trainer based at Newmarket and has done well with similar types in low grade races. Handicapped following three modest efforts the Mastercraftsman filly goes into handicaps off of a basement mark of 57 and sports a first time hood but perhaps most importantly steps up markedly in trip from 7F to a mile and a half. The first foal of a listed all weather winner over 1m 5F she may well show much improved form at this longer trip and in such a dire contest is worth chancing at these horse racing odds.
VISION OF HOPE 1 points win @ 4/1 William Hill
Nine go to post for this 0-70 class 5 7F handicap and we have a very warm favourite in the Roger Varian trained Lord Paramount. He’s making his handicap debut here off of a reasonable mark of 70 having opened his account twelve days ago at Wolverhampton when coming home 1 3/4L clear of his field in a novice stakes contest. On only his fifth career start he should have too many guns for his opponents but is priced accordingly. He’s odds on and scant value but I do expect him to win this against some very exposed handicappers. Cameron Noble takes over from Jack Mitchell. Best of the outsiders may be Robert Eddery’s Silver Dollar who’s fallen to a winning mark and sports first time blinkers but this is a no bet race for me.
One of just two decent contests today is the Winter Oaks Trial, a handicap run over 10F which has attracted a small turnout of just six. All six runners can be given a chance of sorts with the George Boughey trained and William Buick ridden Queen Of Ipanema chasing a six timer having racked up five success’s within the last seven weeks rising 31 lb in the weights. This is not only a step up in the weights but also in grade and at the prices can be taken on here. William Haggas’s Sea Tsarina is a lightly raced well bred filly who flopped on her handicap debut at Thirsk in September and has not been seen since. Last year’s winner Viola hails from the in form James Fanshawe stable and has claims despite being 7lb higher than 12 months ago. I’ll take two at bigger prices though here in Charlie Fellowes’ Tequilamockingbird who’s two from two here at Lingfield races and bottom weight Tahasun who’s in form and looks a bit over priced for trainer Henry Spiller. I’ll dutch the pair for small stakes.
TEQUILAMOCKINGBIRD 1/2 point win @ 15/2 William Hill
TAHASUN 1/2 point win @ 10/1 Paddy Power
A maximum field of fourteen assemble for this class 6 0-52 handicap run over 6F. A very moderate race possibly the worst of them all today! My two against the field are Amy Murphy’s Elegant Ellen who showed enough on her second start for the Newmarket based handler to suggest a race of this nature should be within her grasp although she’s still a maiden after fifteen starts. The other horse I like is Delegate The Lord who’s two from six at the track and is having her first start for the in form Hampshire trainer Robyn Brisland (3 winners from his last 20 runners)and can operate today off of a handicap mark 8lb lower when she last won which came over course and distance back in May 2021. The only negative against her here is her draw position of 14 of 14. Not ideal so for that reason only the selection is Elegant Ellen.
ELEGANT ELLEN 1 point win @ 9/2 bet365
The feature race of the day is the listed BetUK Quebec Stakes run over 10F which has attracted just the six runners. A strong fancy here is the Simon and Ed Crisford trained Algiers who is top rated here and will be ridden by Jack Mitchell today. He went down by the shortest of margins to the improving Missed The Cut over course and distance five weeks ago when leading three out and getting chinned on the line. On the same terms as today’s he had three of todays rivals behind in Harrovian (beaten 3 1/4L), Forest Of Dean (7 1/2L) and Tyson Fury (10 1/4L) and I don’t really see any reason why any of that trio should turn the tables on the improving favourite. That just leaves Yorkshire Lady and Makinmedoit who have plenty to find with the selection. I can see Algiers been well backed and is a confident selection in our ITV horse racing bets.
ALGIERS 2 points win @ 11/8 William Hill