James Fanshawe knows the time of day when it comes to handicapping and the Coral Handicap at Lingfield looks like a likely target for the stable. Mr Pickwick looks to have a similar profile and he made an eye catching debut at Nottingham last time out on his handicap debut when well backed. Any similar money for the horse again today would strengthen the claims off the same mark again. The promising three-year-old makes his polytrack debut in this, but the trainer doesn’t seem fazed by that and as such he will take all the beating if holding his form.
One danger may come from Molten Lava who recorded back to back wins in the summer before two lesser efforts off a revised mark and the Paul Cole trained horse could give the selection something to think about if following up on his last run when sixth of 14 in a similar level handicap.
But the main danger will surely come from Roger Varian’s bottom weight Candella. St Leger winning jockey Andrea Atzeni is back in the saddle today for the horse that boasts the form of a win and a close second in his last three runs. The horse gets weight from the entire field and so a repeat of his last run will see him go close, but the selection makes more appeal with improvement likely.
Mr Pickwick (WIN)
The feature race on the Lingfield card is a hotly contested listed contest over 1m5f with some progressive types all vying for some highly sought after black type. These type of races are second nature for Legendary trainer John Gosden and his classy filly California looks like being the one to beat in this one. She made it back to back wins in some style on St Leger day when disposing of some decent horses with ease to win by three and a half lengths. The stable then took the filly to France where she finished seventh of 13 runners, but looked better than the bare form of that race. This now looks like an ideal race for the horse, who takes a massive step up in trip, if taking to the all weather as well as the extra distance. But with a progressive profile and a real turn of foot in her locker, she will take a lot of stopping if hitting full stride here.
A stable who are renowned for producing horses at this kind of distance is the Hugh Morrison yard and they line up the top rated, and main danger, Sweeping Up. She warrants all sort of respect after going close in a listed contest at Saint Cloud earlier this month, and there was no shame in chasing home Jack Hobbs at Kempton in here previous run either. The worry would be that she hasn’t won since July and the Gosden filly looks to have more scope for improvement give the weight receipt.
Another who relishes this type of distances with his horses is Sir Mark Prescott and his horse Alwilda carries top weight here after an easy success in a listed contest in Cologne on its last outing. Much more will be required to take this one and with the horse taking a significant drop in trip off the hefty weight, he may be one to fill the places.
This one looks like a highly competitive sprint handicap on the face of it, but the John Best gelding Mossgo looks poised to pounce off the bottom weight. The horse already has five wins from his 12 runs this season alone with the last of those coming back in August. Regular partner Kieren Fox is booked again here with the horse poised to follow up its good second of 10 at Kempton two weeks back. His form stands up well to anything else in the race and if putting his best foot forward, will take all the beating in this one for his trainer who does well at the track.
The obvious danger will come from the unexposed Chris Wall horse Belvoir Diva. The three-year-old hasn’t one since his debut season but has progressed in three runs this term. The best of those was last time out when fourth of 12 at Kempton and with so few races under her belt, time is still on her side, but she may struggle to concede weight to a battle-hardened type like the selection.
Secret Asset went close last time out when a good second at Bath. He would be a threat to all if producing his best form, but the grey gelding is very difficult to win with having not had his head in front for 24 runs, and the cheekpieces are applied today so he may have to settle for minor places.