Four trappy handicaps on a dodgy Lingfield card. No Cheltenham clues here but we’ll give it a go.
Lingfield 2.30 DRUIDS FOLLY 7/4 William Hill 13/8 general
Lingfield 3.00 COOLE CHARMER 7/1 Coral and PP
Lingfield 3.30 ACT NOW 15/2 PP 7/1 general
Lingfield 4.00 QUARRY WIZARD 10/1 general
and here’s why…
Lingfield 2.30 DRUIDS FOLLY Progressive son of Beneficial who will be chasing sooner rather than later. Bit surprised to see him step back down in trip but a comfortable winner of a C4 Towcester maiden hurdle last time out and goes handicapping off a very fair OR118. Love the Fergal O’Brien/Paddy Brennan partnership and they are bang in form.
Lingfield 3.00 COOLE CHARMER How does horse rated OR107 get in a 0-105 I hear you say. Well recently the rules changed and you can enter a horse if it is within two pounds of the top limit and if the number of runners limit isn’t reached with those in the handicap proper you get to run. Lots to like about Coole Charmer. Good run last time when second at Bangor, trip and ground are fine, Noel Fehily riding winners for fun, Neil Mulholland is a trainer having a breakthrough year and this is the right grade.
Lingfield 3.30 ACT NOW Dreadful race but the tea leaves suggest the home bred mare Act Now under the guidance of senior jockey Aidan Coleman. Solid third at Fontwell on Boxing Day and the ground can’t be soft enough. The extra half mile could bring further improvement.
Lingfield 4.00 QUARRY WIZARD Probably worse than the last race but the selection has won an Irish PtP, drops in class and in Mr Sean Houlihan (attached to the Hobbs yard) means the selection won’t lack for assistance from the saddle in this C5 Amateurs Riders handicap hurdle.
Whilst I’m waiting for a few more firms to price up I will add a few bits of Cheltenham news.
Injury to rule Coneygree out of Cheltenham by Keith Melrose Racing Post 12:01PM 9 JAN 2017
FORMER Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Coneygree, who took the race as a novice in 2015, will not be entered in the race this year after connections revealed that he has not recovered sufficiently from the injuries that kept him out over Christmas. He had been due to run in the King George on Boxing Day, but missed that due to another “niggly” setback and Sara Bradstock said on Monday: “We’re not going to enter him in the Gold Cup. If everything changed and suddenly everything looked perfect, his x-rays and him, we could supplement him, but I’m not going to enter him because I’m 90 per cent certain he will not run. It’s all too quick. It’s only two months from now and he’s still only walking and we’re not going to be there in top form.”
ICYMI 29/12/16 1:51pm Josies Orders, winner of the cross-country chase at this year’s Cheltenham Festival, is out for the rest of the season. The eight-year-old, trained by Enda Bolger, will not be able to defend his crown in March but is expected to race again next term.
Richard Johnson just put on his Betway blog (Monday 9th 5pm);-
“Strong Pursuit gave me a really nice feel at Hereford on Wednesday and is doing everything right at this stage. He has now won his two novice hurdles and I’m looking forward to getting back on him on better ground over three miles.”
“There is apparently some cold weather on the way towards the end of the week, so fingers crossed that doesn’t cause too many problems. I’m looking forward to riding The Nipper (1.30pm) at Lingfield on Tuesday for Warren Greatrex. She fell on her hurdling debut at Wetherby on Boxing Day but felt well when I schooled her at the weekend so hopefully she can get back on track at Lingfield.”
SimpleSimonSays49…011 Mon. Jan 9th