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Palace Boy was gambled off the books, winning at 6/5 and he was as big as 5/1 when the markets opened. We managed to get 10/3 on him, which was a nice price in hindsight, but I thought the horse bailed the jockey out big time. If the horse wasn't as well handicapped as he was then the position he was put in by the jockey would've normally given him no chance.
Taakeed at Meydan wasn't quick out the gates but the jockey used up a fair amount of petrol to challenge for the lead, and the front two went off like a pair of nutters, which saw my horse pay the consequences in the home straight where he looked knackered. Kodebreaker ran a very flat race, the winner did surprise me as the horse was keen to post and keen through the race but Hollie got a tune out of him and he kept plugging away.
Lingfield 12:15 – Ultramarine 11/2 (1pt, PaddyPower)
Ultramarine has been rolling back the years in recent months since moving back up to 7f on the AW for the first time since finishing 2nd at Dundalk when rated 105!
It's obvious that things haven't gone to plan for this horse who was 4th/7 in a Group 1 as a 2yo, but he has been finding his feet recently for the in form trainer, David Evans. He has managed ot win 3 of his last 5 with 2 of them coming over 7f and based on his current mark of 77, which is effectively 72 with young Jordan Williams taking off 5lbs, he has a cracking chance of getting another win on the board.
The form of the win over The Caltonian has worked out incredibly well. The runner-up has since improved from a 67 rated horse to recently winning a Class 4 off a mark of 80, producing an RPR of 97, so chances are that he'll be going up to at least a late 80s rated horse when reassessed by the handicappers.
Lingfield 2:00 – Plantadream 8/1 (0.5pt EW, WilliamHill/SkyBet 5pl)
Ideally, I'd like to see Plantadream go forward from stall 1 to grab a prominent position, but chances are that we'll be watching this race through our fingers as plenty of luck will be needed to win it from his usual hold style.
I really do believe this newly turned 9yo has a cracking chance of winning this race. He returned to the track after 800 days for new trained Karen Jewell, with two good performances at Kempton, both times Rab Havlin was on board. He has travelled powerfully through both of his runs but unsurprisingly looked in need of the run first time out when tiring in the final furlong. Last time out he ran better for longer, but chances are that he will no have been fully revved up, as I can imagine it's a hard task to get a horse in peak condition after such a long layoff, so today is the day I think he can get a win under his belt.
Since he is such a powerful traveller through his races I think the return to Lingfield is a positive as it is a tighter track compared to Kempton, and suits the quicker horses rather than those who are slow as a boat but stay on powerfully. Many years ago he won at Lingfield and has also finished as runner-up on three other occasions. Though it was a few years ago, the form is actually bulletproof, especially the close runner-up finish to Astro Boy who has since become a 112 rated horse (from last season), that race also saw the 5yo Plantadream finish ahead of the legend that is Oh This Is Us who was still rated 104 at the time.
Lingfield 2:35 – Diomed Spirit 7/2 (1pt)
Even though the jumps racing is off for today, this is a cracking sprint race to get your teeth stuck into. You can make a case for plenty in this, but I just felt like the improving Diomed Spirit could land a five-timer.
It's been well documented about the form of the Stuart Williams yard over recent weeks/months during the AW season and he continues to be in good form, as does Diomed Spirit who landed the four-timer last time out at Wolverhampton. This horse has done nothing but improve since returning to the AW this winter and though he is creeping up the handicap, I believe there's still more to come from him and he can definitely win this race if he gets the gaps as he likes to be in the middle of the pack turning for home, but I think a strong pace will allow him to run them down.
This is a step up in class to what he has been doing his winning at, but I was impressed with his performance of last time out when he gave away 15lbs to a horse who arrived with a win, and even though he only won by 0.5L I thought it was more comfortable than it looked. That performance produced an RPR of 96 but he has only gone up to a rating of 85, which is only a 3lb increase, and given the way he finishes off his races at this trip, I think the likely strong pace will set it up perfectly for him and Hollie Doyle who gets on board this horse for the first time.
Lingfield 3:10 – Oh So Grand 9/4 (1.5pt)
The way in which Oh So Grand won the Winter Oaks Trial last time out was impressive to say the least, and she can follow up with a win in this contest.
I think we're dealing with a fairly smart filly in the shape of Oh So Grand, and it wouldn't surprise me to see her rated in the low 100s before the end of 2024 as the manner of her win last time just oozed class. She was help up from off the pace over today's C&D, had to go the widest of the field when turning for home, but when she hit top gear she picked up in emphatic style and though she didn't win by much, it was a comfortable win and she has only gone up 4lbs for that win which looks quite lenient from the handicapper.
Simon & Ed Crisford won this race last year with a filly just 1lb higher, and they won the trial race which Oh So Grand won with the exact same filly, so they know what time of day it is and if they hold this filly in the same regard then I think it'll be tough to beat her, despite this race looking strong and many turning up in great form.
Lingfield Park - 12:15 pm
11/2 @ PaddyPower
Lingfield Park - 2:00 pm
8/1 @ William Hill
Lingfield Park - 2:35 pm
7/2 @ Bet365
Lingfield Park - 3:10 pm