We begin the Saturday Weekender over at Lingfield where we take in a class 4 handicap over twelve furlongs. Early favourite Alshan Fajer won a class 3 over course and distance when last seen at the end of January. He has a good record of three wins and two placed efforts from nine runs here at Lingfield and has an 80% strike rate for making the frame over todays’ trip so although is up 3lbs for his latest victory he should be capable of another victory especially given the slight drop in grade. Gaelic Silver comes next in the early markets and with a record of four wins and two placed efforts from thirteen runs at Lingfield he rates as a live danger to the favourite, although is still 3lbs higher than his last winning mark, hasn’t won since notching a hat-trick towards the end of 2014 and attempts todays’ trip for the first time. Jamhoori has a strong record over twelve furlongs having won two from three and has only been raised 2lbs for his latest win. He is passed over today as both wins came on the tapeta at Wolves and today sees his first attempt on the polytrack. A final mention is for Royal Marskell who has a 40% strike rate for making the frame over todays’ trip and won over a furlong shorter on his penultimate start but looked well held off his revised mark last time out and would need to improve to make the frame here.
Alshan Fajer (WIN)
We stay at Lingfield for our second selection, this time for a class 2 handicap over a mile. Si Senor won over course and distance last time out and has a 40% win rate over todays’ trip. He’s gone up 2lbs to a career high mark and is taking on higher rated opposition today but cannot be discounted. Mutawathea is another proven over todays’ trip and just missed out on a course and distance win when last seen, going down by a to Forceful Appeal. This was his first run in four months so he may have race fitness on his side today, although it is worth noting that Forceful Appeal was 3 lengths behind Si Senor when they last met so Si Senor may still have the edge here. Preference however is for the early favourite Bravo Zolo who ran a good race when second on return from a six month break over course and distance in December. He has three wins and a second to show for his four all-weather runs and with both jockey and trainer having a good record here at Lingfield he is taken to go one better today.
Bravo Zolo (WIN)
Our final selection is one that featured in last weeks’ weekender only to become a non-runner due to Ffos Las falling victim to the weather. Clyne has two wins from two over todays’ two mile trip, one on soft ground and one on heavy, so won’t be inconvenienced by the forecast testing conditions. Racing off a mark of 115 last time out he was a convincing winner, beating 132 rated Heath Hunter by almost 3 lengths so should be more than capable of defying a 4lbs rise and going in again today. The booking of Nico De Boinville catches the eye on Fatcatinthehat given that he has a 42% winning strike rate over jumps in the last two weeks. He rides a horse that has dropped to what could be considered an attractive mark of 119 considering he was once rated 139 when contesting the Fred Winter at Cheltenham in 2013 although with so few runs since it remains to be seen if he is still the force of old. Of the remainder, Norse Light and Akula both battled it out over slightly shorter at Leicester last month and look closely matched again raised 4lbs and 3lbs respectively. Norse Light looks the most likely of the two to mount a challenge but for the winner we return to Clyne.