Mondammej was a non-runner this afternoon, but my second best and 9/1 shot Corinthia Knight was returned a 17/2 winner, half a length clear of the very well backed new favourite Golden Apollo, who in fairness ran far better than I expected.
Wednesday's free feature is the excellent Trainer Statistics report which is, in fact, four reports in one. It contains information on a trainer’s recent form, and their longer term course form. For each of 14 day, 30 day, course one year, and course since 2009, users can filter by runs, wins, places, win profit/loss and each way profit/loss.
In addition to this, we have the following six free 'races of the day'...
- 1.55 Yarmouth
- 2.45 Lingfield
- 4.30 Lingfield
- 4.40 Catterick
- 4.55 Fairyhouse
- 7.25 Fairyhouse
I'm expecting conditions to be very tricky at Lingfield, so we'll head there for our preview. The first race is a maiden and I tend to steer clear of those, so my focus is on the 4.30 Lingfield. It's an 8-runner, 3yo+, Class 5 Handicap over 5f on ground that is already Soft (Heavy in places) with more showers set to fall. The prize is a mere £2,862 and these are the contenders...
Just three of the field (Aleef, Firenze Roma and Lethal Blast) have a win in their recent form lines with the first of those three the LTO winner here. He (Aleef) is the oldest in the field and along with Haveoneyerself is stepping up in class today. Aventurina is the youngest here as the sole 3 year old and is the least experienced and now makes a handicap debut after just three starts.
All eight have raced in the past month with all bar Aleef (off for 30 days) having raced inside the last fortnight. Only Aventurina and Starchant have yet to win over 5f, whilst Lethal Blast, Aleef, Bellevarde and Firenze Roma are all past course and distance winners. We've little in the way of positive icons for the trainers and jockeys other than Rhys Clutterbuck (Bellevarde) seeming to have a good record at this venue.
There's quite a big (19lbs) spread on official ratings from top to bottom weight, whilst the SR figures suggest a tight affair at the top end.
Lethal Blast bears top weight today and this 4 yr old filly has already won three times (on the bounce) over C&D this year, although 2 of them were on the A/W, but she did win on soft ground here in May was was only beaten by 1.75 lengths off this mark here LTO. She gets soft ground and is 3 from 6 plus a place under today's jockey. Real chances here.
Aleef is 2 from 2 here at Lingfield, both over 5f and one of them on turf, LTO 30 days ago. At 8 yrs old, he's very experienced after 58 outings and has 2 wins and 3 places on soft ground. He only got home by a head LTO and now up 3lbs and one class, this will be tougher, but he definitely has place claims.
Haveoneyerself ran really well at Nottingham last time to finish as a 20/1 runner-up off just 1lb lower than today's mark, but he's effectively now 5lbs higher than his last win, which came over a year ago and whilst he has been running well in defeat, I think a combination of weight and soft ground will undo him.
Quanah is another without a win in the last year, despite having 13 attempts to break the cold spell, but has only been beaten by 0.75L, 0.5L and 2.75L in three of his last four outings and with 3 wins and 2 places from 9 starts on soft/heavy ground, he might relish the conditions here.
Bellevarde is on an even longer barren run, having last succeeded 17 races ago, back in October 2019 and now with his jockey taking 5lbs off a mark of 60, he's actually 18lbs better off than that win. he hasn't been beaten by more than four lengths in any of his last seven starts, so he could be weighted to go well here, but I have concerns about him only winning 1 of 11 on soft ground, but he has made the frame in 6 of them.
Firenze Rosa won over at this class/trip on soft ground at Windsor four starts ago, but has suffered defeats of 7L, 9.5L and 6.5L since then, beating just 6 of 21 rivals in the process. In her defence, though, from a career record of just 4 wins and 9 places from 49 starts, she does have 2 wins and 3 places from 9 on soft/heavy ground with her only other two wins coming on good to soft.
Aventurina looks a little out of her depth here thrown into a handicap after three runs where she finished 10th of 13, 7th of 8 and 7th of 10. Admittedly she was only beaten by just over 3 lengths last time out, but she's best watched here having also never encountered anything other than good ground.
Starchant is still a maiden after 43 attempts since June 2018 and running from 2lbs out of the handicap is likely to stay that way. She was beaten by 8.5 lengths over this trip last time out and 29 of her 43 runs have been at 5f. She's 0/19 here at Lingfield, 0/20 at Class 5 and looks pretty hopeless if truth be told.
Of the above, I'm already willing to write off the chances of Aventurina and Starchant and although Firenze Roma has form on soft ground, she's almost on my red list too.
I've already alluded to how some of these runners have performed in similar conditions to today, but here's a full overview of all of them side by side, courtesy of Instant Expert...
Of interest to me here are...
GOING : Lethal Blast, Aleef, Quanah, Firenze Roma
CLASS : Lethal Blast, Aleef, Bellevarde
COURSE : Lethal Blast, Aleef, Bellevarde, Firenze Roma
DISTANCE : Lethal Blast, Quanah, Bellevarde
Bellevarde and Quanah are well weighted here, but Lethal Blast is now some 9lbs higher than his last win, which could make life tough in the mud.
We don't get many 5f contests on soft or worse here at Lingfield, so I've had to improvise with the data for the draw stats, as follows...
And sometimes that's what we have to do, but in conditions worse than good here, stalls 3 to 7 seem to be the place to be, which is a positive for Haveoneyerself, Lethal Blast, Bellevarde, Firenze Roma and Aleef.
If we then use those same "improvised" settings for the pace / race positioning, we get the following...
...which essentially says that prominent racers just about hold their own, but any further back is a death knell, whilst leaders do exceptionally well, which would appear to be good news for Lethal Blast (again!), as well as Aleef and possibly Bellevarde & Starchant, but the latter has little else going for her...
When we align those running styles with today's draw and the assumptions we've made about where and how is best to run this contest, this is what we get...
That's in draw order, so the pace is away from the low stalls and those best suited are somewhat predictably Lethal Blast and Aleef along with Quanah and Haveoneyerself, who are all firmly in the green
Some names crop up more than others during an assessment of a race and in order of frequency it probably reads Lethal Blast / Aleef / Bellevarde as the ones I've mentioned most. I have full faith in the tools available to me and we've only dealt in facts, even though we've had to expand the settings for pace and draw slightly, but I'm happy with those three and that's the order I want them in.
The bookies also have them in that order at 3/1, 4/1 and 11/2, although they do also have Haveoneyerself installed as a 3/1 joint favourite, but he's not for me at that price, I'm sticking with my 1-2-3. I expect Lethal Blast to go off shorter than the current 3/1 offered, so if you agree with my reasoning, get on whilst you can.