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Oh So Grand made sure we didn't lose any money on Saturday after hosing up in the AW Oaks. She is a very nice filly for the future, and I think she should be kept for the all-weather as that's what seems best for her at the moment.
There were some honking rides on the other selections prior to Oh So Grand. Plantadream was another extremely weak horse in recent weeks, 8/1 to 33/1 and ran as if he could've done a fair bit more, but they weren't too interested. Diomed Spirit was the worst of the bunch under Hollie Doyle, who hasn't exactly lit the world alight since coming back to the UK over the winter.
Lingfield 1:15 – Matata 11/4 (1.5pt, WilliamHill)
I think this Grade 2 contest can go to Matata who I underestimated last time out, but he looks like a very nice prospect over 2m and with him receiving weight from 3 of his rivals, this looks like a nice opportunity to get this level of honours.
I've tipped up Djelo this season and he is a nice horse, but I do think he is better over slightly further as over 2m he looks to be tapped for speed and his best work comes late on, but that has come against a lower level of opposition, so now he's against some nice novices I believe that this trip will find him out. Master Chewy will appreciate a decent gallop to aim at and showed he is a nice horse at this trip, but giving away 5lbs to a horse like Matata looks a very tough ask in my opinion.
I went against Matata last time out, my selection was awful in the race, but I can't help but feel he ran a blinder to finish as runner-up to Liberty Hunter who was receiving 11lbs from Matata that day and only managed to run him down in the final half a furlong. I'd be confident in saying that every horse in this race would've struggled, and possibly struggled more to give away that weight to the winner that day as he did look well handicapped prior to the race, and he proved it. That race was on heavy ground as well, and I don't think that type of ground is perfect for Matata, and today's quicker ground (if the meeting goes ahead) will be to his advantage. He is a horse who likes to bowl ahead in front, and I think he could get this field under a great amount of pressure with the speed he travels and the accuracy of his jumping, and if they try and keep up to his pace then they will make errors.
Lingfield 2:25 – Classic Concorde 11/1 (0.5pt EW, WilliamHill 4pl)
It would be some win if Classic Concorde was to land this £33,820 pot at the age of 11, but I find it difficult to look elsewhere.
David Brace is great at getting horses on low marks and getting them into terrific form, whether he is training them or he has the likes of Fergal O'Brien doing the job, but what he has managed to do with this horse is remarkable and every time he seems to be overlooked as punters/bookies think he is surely in the grips of the handicapper. Since the summer he has won five times, which has happened in the last six runs and I think he has another great opportunity of landing a sixth win of the season.
Connor Brace heads to Fakenham on Sunday to ride for Fergal O'Brien, so Mr Tom Broughton is on board today and he can put his 7lb claim to good use as it puts this horse back on his recent winning mark of 112, as he is currently rated 119. The ground of good to soft should be fine for Classic Concorde who has done winning on good, soft and good to soft. The form of his latest smooth success has been ranked by the runner-up who won the Pertemps qualifier at Warwick in recent weeks.
Lingfield 3:35 – Movethechains 16/1 (0.5pt EW, PaddyPower 4pl)
It's a bit of a risky bet going for Movethechains but I really do believe the return to his favourite track will bring out the best of him and return him to form.
It's hard to say whether this race has been the long-term plan for the master planning trainer Gary Moore, but if it has then fair play because he has got this horse down to a ridiculously low mark. Movethechains has recorded four wins at the Surrey track from five runs, and 4 of his career chase wins have been at today's venue. Every time he has gone to a different track his form has been nowhere near as strong, so it's a huge positive to see them returning to Lingfield for the National race off a reduced mark of 115 which is 112 as Caoilin Quinn takes off a handy 3lbs.
I have no doubts that he stays this trip as he was 2nd over 3m 5f over today's C&D last February, which came off a mark of 127 (122 with claim), and based on his strong staying performances over 2m 7f at this track, marathon trips have always been the way forward for him, but he's limited to just this track, which makes today's national race a perfect target for him. I think this race might have been the plan for a while as he hasn't returned to Lingfield since last February and his mark has dropped a lot due to that.
Lingfield Park - 1:15 pm
11/4 @ William Hill
Lingfield Park - 2:25 pm
11/1 @ William Hill
Lingfield Park - 3:35 pm