After 208 fixtures and over 1500 races the all-weather season comes down to one day of fantastic action at Lingfield Park and with £1m in prize money up for grabs across the seven-race card it promises to be a cracking day of action. Below we preview three of the headline contests.
4:05 Lingfield – Gregori
Seven of the likely field come into this off the back of a win and it is from this group that the most attention should be paid.
Brian Meehan’s Gregori is one of those who is proven over both course and trip and the son of Invincible Spirit looked in fine fettle when setting up this hat-trick opportunity at the track at the beginning of the month.
The four-year-old benefited from an enterprising ride from new and retained partner Jimmy Fortune and Meehan’s decision to change pilots could prove a shrewd one in a contest that will undoubtedly be influenced by tactics.
Few horses in training can be relied upon as much as Trinityelitedotcom who despite being lumbered with one of the most ghastly names in the game warrants plenty of respect whenever he steps onto the all-weather.
The four-year-old hasn’t been out of the first two in his last nine starts, an incredible record that stretches back almost a year.
One concern could be the fact that Tom Dascombe’s gelding has failed to post consecutive victories this campaign, however, he has followed-up before so it shouldn’t be considered too much of a negative.
4:40 Lingfield – Grey Mirage
Grey Mirage is one of two hat-trick chasers in the field and will be extremely popular with the in-demand Ryan Moore doing the steering.
After going six months without a win last year, Marco Botti’s hope has developed a penchant for first place this term, visiting the winners’ enclosure on three of his last four visits to the racetrack.
Moore took over for the first time on his latest start and he produced his best performance to date in defeating a 14-strong field at Lingfield, registering an official rating of 100.
Mark Johnston has had plenty of success at the track and his Skytrain looks set to spearhead what could be a multi-handed assault.
It would only be six days ago that the son of Exceed and Excel justified favouritism at Wolverhampton and although that was his first victory in seven starts he showed last year the ability to cross the line in front in consecutive races.
5:20 Lingfield – Grandeur
Winter Derby winner Robin Hoods Bay returns to the scene of his career best, however, he may struggle to contain likely favourite Grandeur now things are back in the jolly’s favour.
Jeremy Noseda’s charge was sent off a weak favourite for the aforementioned contest but nothing went right for Ryan Moore in what was a disastrous draw in stall 14.
The five-year-old showed what he was capable of when winning the warm-up to that race in February and there is no doubt he has the class to bounce back.
It says a lot about the horse that his handler thought him good enough to compete in the Arlington Million Stakes and Hong Kong Cup – where he was only beaten four and three quarter lengths and three and a quarter lengths respectively – and his ability to recover from those races is encouraging here.
There is a doubt whether Ed Vaughn will be able to get Robin Hoods Bay in the same form as last time and for those looking for an alternative from the top two in the betting you could do a lot worse than Mark Johnston’s Marshgate Lane.
The five-year-old won over course and distance last December and followed that up 10 days later in a harder race at Wolverhampton.
Johnston appears to have waited for this contest and that decision has to translate into respect for his chances.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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