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PPTV’s Rob Catterson and Aoife Corrigan break down the best bets from a cracking card on Lingfield’s all-weather track this Saturday…
A very mediocre fillies novice stakes to say the least and given that ANGEL MILL showed a good deal of improvement at Wolverhampton on her second career start 12 days ago, she should be good enough to make it third time lucky. Having finished fifth on debut at Kempton back in September, she was beaten less than three lengths when 6th at Wolverhampton last week and that’s the best piece of form on show here.
Her chances are also boosted by the fact that her trainer James Tate has a 33% strike rate in the last two weeks while jockey Joe Fanning is on fire in 2021 with an astonishing 37% strike rate for the year. Not just that but 12 of his 19 rides this year have either won or been placed and it’s not often that he teams up with James Tate. That could be enough reason to suggest that Angel Mill will prove good enough here.
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The race of the day with plenty of familiar names in the line-up and top weight Lord Rapscallion will be popular given his consistency in Ireland during 2020. However, he carries top weight here and given the fact that he has left Johnny Murtagh’s yard, one wonders how much more improvement is left in the five-year-old.
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The most interesting horse in the line-up is MISSION BOY, who has his first start for Marco Botti. A five-time winner in Italy, this son of Paco Boy was a Group 2 winner as a juvenile and also landed three Listed races when trained by Aldoine Botti, champion trainer in Italy and the father of Marco. Having made the switch to the UK, as well as being gelded, there is every reason to suggest that Mission Boy could have a big year ahead of him and one would have to feel he is better than a 100-rated handicapper. He looks one of the best bets on the Lingfield card this Saturday.
With top-weight Huraiz seemingly on a rapid decline and question marks over the form of Sun Power’s trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam, the safest option in this six-furlong handicap might be to stick with RECON MISSION, which ended a 15 race winless streak at Lingfield on New Years’ Eve. That came in Class 4 grade after competing at much loftier heights and it wasn’t that long ago that Tony Carroll’s charge was running in the 2019 Prix de l’Abbey.
While not at that level for some time, his recent win suggested that there was plenty of firepower still left in the tank and while he steps back to six furlongs today, that’s a trip he’s won over on three occasions. His aggressive style of running might make him hard to catch and it’s also a bonus that he’s won on his only previous visit to Lingfield as well.
With three of the seven runners here being previous C&D winners, the finale on the Lingfield card will probably take some winning. Sir Rodneyredblood has an excellent record at Lingfield but he rarely wins while the handicapper seems to have caught up with Cappananty Con since his last win in August.
That leaves SWISS PRIDE as the last of the Lingfield specialists and there’s every reason to think that he’s on a winning mark judged on his unlucky third-placed effort at the track 11 days ago, when he was carried wide rounding the final bend before staying on to be beaten less than two lengths.
He remains on the same mark of 68 as he bids for his third win at the track. In fact, his overall Lingfield record is impressive given that from seven starts, he’s only been out of the frame once and he’s trained by Roger Teal, who has had two winners already this week. There’s every chance that Swiss Pride can continue that winning run for his trainer.
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