Another busy weekend of all-weather racing. Nice to ride a winner for Mark Johnston onboard Axel Jacklin at Lingfield on Friday. I’m back at the track on Saturday for four rides and then it’s on to Chelmsford for two rides in the evening.
LINCOLN SPIRIT (1.20pm)
I won here on her last week over the shorter 6f trip in what turned out to be a real blanket finish – even by Lingfield standards! She’s only been nudged up a 1lb by the handicapper but the key for me here is that I’m hopeful the extra furlong will prove a positive as she was staying on really well and only got up on the line. This is unchartered territory for her distance wise but fingers crossed for a big run.
PUSHKIN MUSEUM (2.30pm)
Another last time out winner that I’m riding again with this one scoring at Wolverhampton in November. He has moved stables since to Paul (D’Arcy) since. This will be a change of scenery for the grey as his last 25 races have ALL come at Wolverhampton! I think he can still be competitive off this mark and should come into this a fresh horse.
COME ON COME ON (3.05pm)
Clive (Cox) has put the blinkers on for the first time and he has also been gelded since his last run which hopefully may spark a return to some of his early career form. His previous win on the all-weather came at Kempton but over a mile and I’m hoping he’ll settle better here to give us every chance of getting the trip. Only three rivals but both Fearsome and Three weeks bringing recent winning form to the table.
AL JELLABY (3.40pm)
This looks the most competitive race on the card but I’m hoping my fella will give me a good spin here. He ran a blinder for me on his first all-weather start at Kempton when going down by less than a length to Chiefofchiefs. He should improve plenty for that as he doesn’t have too many miles on the clock and over the same trip should hopefully run a big race.
STAMFORD RAFFLES (6.15pm)
A course and distance winner and twice a winner at Newcastle over two miles so no problems on the stamina or all-weather front but we need to see what kind of shape he is in after a break as he really struggled in three turf races last season. This is also quite a hot contest – despite being another four horse race.
My day finishes with this wide open handicap. I’m riding Affluence for the first time for trainer Martin Smith. He’s closely matched with Prerogative on Lingfield form last time out. He’s still a maiden after 17 starts but I think there are reasons to be hopeful on recent form including over course and distance in December when he finished third in the race I won on Hard Toffee.
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