Free race preview and betting tips for the Spring Cup, a Listed event at Lingfield at 3.15pm.
It’s that crossover time of year where the Cheltenham Festival has been and gone, the Grand National is just around the corner and at the same time the Flat season is about to get into gear. Lingfield hosts a good quality competitive card on the all-weather this Saturday, and I’m going to take a look at the Spring Cup.
In the 7f race one of the favourites, Ertijaal (6/4 Coral), represents William Haggas. With an entry in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, this colt is obviously classy but he’s not be given a favourable drawn in stall 13. Despite this, he is lightly raced (only two appearances last season) and finished off 2013 winning in impressive style at Yarmouth over 6f.
It's hard to last past Mark Johnston's horses at the moment as his strike rate for in 2014 is an impressive 29% and his horses have been in great form all winter. He’s represented by Bow Creek (10/1 Ladbrokes), a horse who hasn't been seen this year and will possibly appreciate further in time. He’s an inconsistent type who performs today and shows nothing tomorrow, which is a trait less than ideal in a racehorse. He does seem to be an improver however, and there may well be more to come.
Marco Botti is without his stable jockey Martin Harley after a horrific fall at Lingfield on Wednesday this week, but he has booked Adam Kirby’s service for his hope SIR ROBERT CHEVAL (12/1 BetVictor). This colt has a proven record on the course, claiming a C&D victory here last time out in November. He is a progressive type, and has the benefit of only being off the course since November.
In his first season as a trainer, having taking over from his father, Richard Hannon enters Expert (8/1 Stan James) in the race. The colt makes his debut on the all weather, however he has had plenty of experience on turf, and should be used to these bigger occasions. He was raced a number of times last season but only claimed victory twice and for me looks to be ideally suited to further than 7f and should be watched until then.
Alutiq (9/1 bet365) is another who had a busy campaign last season. This will represent her first opportunity to run over 7f, and on the evidence of her last race she’ll find plenty in that last furlong. She ran in the Queen Mary at last year's Royal Ascot and looks like a decent sprinter in the making, but whether this trip is what she wants remains to be seen.
ORIENTAL RELATION (25/1 Betfred) and Pool House (18/1 bet365) are both consistent types who are arrive here race fit after starting their campaigns earlier this year. Pool House was a winner over C&D last time out, whereas Oriental Relation has shown his best form over shorter distances. The gelding is arguably better over shorter, possessing bundles of speed, but is a horse who is constantly improving. Pool House is unbeaten this year, twice over the distance required in this race, battling gamely on each occasion.
SIR ROBERT CHEVAL will be a much better horse this season after gaining greater experience. He’s had a nice break and connections have been pleased with the way he’s been working. He is a C&D winner who is still improving so I can see him running a huge race. ORIENTAL RELATION is another who seems to be constantly improving and, although he is probably better over a shorter distance, with the speed he possesses, he must be in with a chance providing he can stay that extra furlong.
SIR ROBERT CHEVAL (WIN) (12/1 BetVictor)
ORIENTAL RELATION (EW) (25/1 Betfred)
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