The cold weather has well and truly arrived this week and whilst the racecourses have been doing a great job of keeping the all-weather racing going, it does make things a bit tougher for getting around and working them out at home. As usual, the behind the scenes teams do a great job in all conditions faced by them.
I’ve got a busy Saturday with eight booked rides at Lingfield and Kempton and then a day off on Sunday.
LANCELOT DU LAC (1.45pm Betway Cleves Stakes Listed)
Two Listed races on the Lingfield card on Saturday and I’m pleased to be riding in both. My fella is back after a break but showed he can be competitive at this level when a close-up sixth in this race last year. Kachy won that day and might be hard to beat again as he comes into this in good form. I’ve only Lancelot Du Lac once before, at Ascot back in 2014.
I was on him at Wolverhampton last time out when he stayed on well over seven furlongs to win off a mark of 67 on what was his first start for Paul D’Arcy. He’s up 7lbs and down in trip for this competitive race. There are plenty of last time out winners but I’m hopeful he can run another big race.
IN THE LOPE (2.55pm Betway Winter Derby Trial Stakes Listed)
John Gosden won this last year and his progressive Wissahickon looks very much the one we have to beat as he was impressive when winning a Listed race here last time out which came on the back of his Cambridgeshire win. It’s fair to say I don’t know a lot about my fella who is a French raider but it was encouraging to see him win at Deauville on the all-weather last time out and he also ran well on his only previous visit here when fourth in the Listed Churchill Stakes back in 2017. He’ll need to be at his absolute best to land this hot contest though.
LADY COSETTE (4.05pm)
A new start for her as I’m aboard for the first time and she is having her first start for Harry Dunlop. She remains a maiden after eight starts but is running well enough and there is very little to choose between all five runners on paper.
Has his first start for Charlie Fellowes and gave me a good spin when I was aboard him at Kempton on November when fourth to Villette. That was his best run for a while and hopefully the improvement can continue with the cheekpieces on for the first time and a drop back in trip. Very competitive, as these London Mile qualifiers always are.
Won at Chester in May last year and has been placed eight times since without winning !! Model of consistency but might just still be in the grip of the handicapper. This is his first run on the all-weather for a while and he’s also trying out this trip for the first time so we are asking some new questions for him.
IIHABELA FACT (7.45pm)
Up 3lbs for a good run here at Kempton last time out. Hopefully can run another big race over the slightly longer trip. He’s got relatively few miles on the clock for a five-year-old and has run all his UK races at Kempton. Has a big chance but had a quick look through his six rivals and they all have claims.
Last race of the day looks just about the most competitive too. Good course and distance fourth from him last time out and a reproduction of that effort could see him competitive – we’ve got a little ground to make up with Double Legend who was runner-up in that race.
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