The Charlie Hills-trained Give ‘Em The Slip looks to have everything in her favour To shed the maiden tag at the third time of asking. She ran into a newcomer of Richard Spencer’s over course and distance a fortnight ago and along with the odds-on favourite that day, they pulled well clear of the rest despite going quite hard in front.
She’s drawn in stall one and should have a slightly easier time of it on the lead now. Case Of The Ex is a slight danger to that lead, but looked heavily flattered by her second place effort on her only other start. Gurkha Girl is the big challenger but could do with more of a stamina test than she’ll be presented with now.
A replication of her previous effort should suffice for Give ‘Em The Slip and I’d be disappointed to see her beaten.
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This is a slightly more competitive race than the previous novice race on the card and it’s where I expect Mahale will finally break her duck. Mick Channon’s filly had put up some respectable performances during the summer mixing it with the likes of Dandalla in the Albany and finishing second to Caroline Dale at Windsor.
Her first go on the all-weather over 5 furlongs looked liked something they could build on. That day she was drawn widest of all and had to do plenty early on to get across and lead as she likes to do.
On Saturday, she has the plum draw in stall 1 and will have a clear path to the lead, which can be half the battle in these all-weather sprints, particularly at Lingfield. That should see her fare better in the finish.
In a race with plenty of these either out of form or looking like they’re in the grip of the handicapper, it should pay to look for something with a bit of potential off their current mark. Sovereign Gold is the one who fits that profile as Henry De Bromhead’s mare tackles handicap company for the first time off a mark of 116.
On both her previous efforts over fences she was never really given much of a chance with this looking closer to her level. Stepping back up in trip to 2m 4f and the testing conditions that she’ll be faced with on Saturday are all taken to suit this mare.
Title challenger Rachael Blackmore takes the ride.
This is one of the better races of the day and although he’s giving weight away all round, I find it hard to look past You Raised Me Up. He’s had an interrupted season and only boasts one run since a placed effort in a handicap at the Dublin Racing Festival last year. He beat a couple of good yardsticks fairly comprehensively in Listowel a few months ago and proved his ability to go well off a layoff in doing so.
This will be the deepest ground he’s ever faced which will be a slight concern, but he’s gone well on soft before and this sort of trip is likely to bring about some improvement in time so long as he settles.
His connections won this race a couple of years ago with subsequent Cheltenham Festival winner City Island and although he mightn’t be that good just yet, this should act as a natural step to a big handicap hurdle later in the season.
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