Today we will see the final declarations for Saturday’s Lincoln Handicap, as it stands the market for the race with BetVictor sees Auxerre backed in from 4-1 to 10-3 favourite. James Doyle is aboard boasting four winners from his last nine rides, the way the horse has been backed there is a suspicion and moreso an expectation he is a group horse currently disguised as a handicapper. At this stage the 12-1 Rip Orff is looking attractive considering how solid a performer David Elsworth’s representative is in these strong running straight course handicaps.
The anticipation is building to return to the turf and for now the action is on the All Weather with both Chelmsford and Wolverhampton hosting the cards for us to decipher, showcasing the jockeys and trainers in form heading into Saturday.
John Gosden is never out of form and he has Gantier in the Wolverhampton 2.50, this son of Frankel has been brought along steadily. His career started in October last year in one of those helpful and informative maidens on Newmarket’s Rowley Mile course. A 14 length defeat on debut turned into a nose defeat just 23 days later. That progression has continued to success on 4th February at Chelmsford over ten furlongs. The drop back in trip was unsuccessful at Wolverhampton last time yet connections have decided to stay at the same venue but go up two furlongs in distance. His power might just get him home and he is one to side with.
Trainer Mark Johnston has a 24% strke rate with his runners at present, so nothing new there, what a formidable and prolific handler he is, any way he has filly French Twist in Wolverhampton’s 2.20pm. The daughter of Animal Kingdom has had five runs on the all weather with her best two efforts at this course, which is promising. She is still yet to break her maiden tag, but you sense it is only a matter of time.
Three time Champion Jockey Silvestre De Sousa is back at Chelmsford, we first see his skills on Fox Leicester courtesy of his new retainer with King Power. The is suggestions that might detract from his chances of retaining his crown yet it could enhance it. Fox Power is likely to be a really prohibitive price of the 6.00, though for me it’s a chance to enjoy the comfort of our champ being back and normal service resuming.
De Sousa could be ideally placed to have a big chance in the 7.30pm as he rides Rose Berry, who faces off against in form Indian Tygress. James Fanshawe’s Tygress could have unlimited promising having won 2 of her three races on the surface and only race six times overall. Yet the experience and guile of Rose Berry could work in her favour as she just might be a tadge more tactically agile than her younger rival and at the same time her price could represent value.
Even though the flat turf starts on Saturday there has been much in the news regarding Aintree, those heading for the big race to try and take on Tiger Roll and those running on the fabulous three day supporting card. Keeping our eyes firmly fixed on the jumps there are two cards at Newcastle and Warwick
Ascot De Bruyere in Newcastle’s 2.30 has every chance of adding to his last two wins although he is on a career high mark James Ewart’s runner has proved he loves the course and is already unbeaten in three races at the venue. The 5lb claim from rider Steven Fox should help.
Checking out the opportunities at Warwick I noticed King Of Realms who is trained locally by Ian Williams could have major claims in the 3.45. It’s only five runners and the horse is still learning having only had three races over the bigger obstacles and ten career races overall.
Grade 2 appeared too much too soon on penultimate start but back down to Class 3 did the trick when he was only beaten a length and a half over the three miles. Warwick is a trappy course to negotiate and the fact he has taken on a high calibre rivals shows he can jump efficiently at speed. Stepping up to Class 2 ought not be a problem for a horse connections feel definitely has further improvement.