Despite not claiming victory in over a year Radetsky now resides on a very attractive mark and with a run now under his belt since his wind surgery he looks prepped to go very close. Top jockey Hollie Doyle is booked for the ride, which is another additional positive and today may well be the day we see him return to the winners enclosure here at Lingfield.
Fellow course and distance victor Princesse Animale shouldn't be far away, however the handicapper may still have a firm grasp of her and she may well do better with less weight on her back but it wouldn't be a shock to see her claim victory.
Of the remainder the ultra-consistent Kodi Gold can produce another solid performance for trainer David Evans and looks likely to finish in the money.
If you're a fan of jockeys and trainers in-form then the connections associated with Donna's Delight tick plenty of boxes. Jockey Ryan Mania and trainer Sandy Thompson are in blistering form and team up a handful of times on Newcastle's card this Saturday. Of their runners I'm going to take a chance on veteran Donna's Delight who, despite being eleven years of age, racked up a sequence of victories in her last two runs. She's been on the sidelines for in excess of 670 days but, although that absence is far from ideal, she has won after a sizable break on several occasions before.
This obviously looks a very competitive race with former course winners, Bavington Bob, Mr Scrumpy, Scoop The Pot and The Paddy Pie all with potentially stronger claims than the selection but at decent double figure odds Donna's Delight looks worth an each way punt.
DONNA'S DELIGHT (E/W)
To enter a horse, based in Ireland, into a listed race at Cheltenham you'd take that as a sign that connections think very highly of said horse. That is exactly what those connected to Scheu Time did when the nine year old finished 4th in a listed handicap at British jumps HQ. Now entered into a less competitive contest and at a course he's won at before he has a very strong chance of returning to winning ways. Top jockey Rachael Blackmore has the unquestionable talent to win a race of this nature and it's hard to look anywhere but the current 4/1 favourite.
For punters looking for an each way alternative, six year old Swelltime claimed a positive 4th when last seen over hurdles and has kept fit on the flat throughout the summer. If maintaining the same form as when last seen over obstacles he could go well at a price.
SCHEU TIME (WIN)
The first of two selections from this evening's all-weather action at Kempton comes in the third race on the card.
Of the seven runners entered only one has claimed a previous victory however I am going to side with one of the six remaining maidens.
Both Intriguing Lady and Safety First represent top yards and as such shouldn't be discredited all too readily however the 2nd placed effort from Midgetonamission just five days ago is enough to suggest she can go one better this time around. That performance came over a longer trip and it seemed as if she didn't quite see it out so this drop in distance is likely to suit. A previous effort over course and distance saw her finish 3rd so it's clear she will also handle conditions and that should be enough to see her finally shake off her maiden tag.
Aurelia Gold hasn't been far away with three placed efforts in her last four starts however it could be the case that she continues to be a proverbial bridesmaid and not the bride.
The main race on the card may only see five runners entered but never the less, according to the betting, this looks a very open and competitive affair.
The current 13/8 favourite is also the oldest horse in the race and Edraak deserves his spot at the top of the market. A win here over seven furlongs last time out was impressive and now up at this level he also negates the hike in weight he would normally receive for his previous victory. Sure to be there or thereabouts but I'm going to plump for an alternative.
With just the two runs on the all-weather in his career Fivethousandtoone produced a victory and a place in those two starts. A return to an artificial surface looks a positive step from connections and as a horse who's placed in a Group 2 before this looks an easier test. Trainer Andrew Balding has his horses going very well of late and the yard have a serious chance of adding to their tally.
written by Rory Paddock