BETWAY DASH HANDICAP STAKES (1000m) (Class 2)
14.10PM, LINGFIELD PARK – Racecard here
A typically competitive sprint for the grade, with many of these coming into the race in good form. The draw is a big factor over 1000m at this course. The wider drawn horses are at a disadvantage as the first bend comes very soon after the start. Races can be won from the front as many horses get unbalanced coming down the hill and do not have time to make up ground in the short straight.
THE FRONT TWO IN THE MARKET
ALSVINDER had some very lofty expectations in the early start to his career and has begun to fulfil those hopes. He comes into this race in the form of his life having not been out of the first two in his last three starts. He has not run at this track before but does have a good record on the all-weather, with three wins and two seconds from his five runs. He is stepping up in class but has a good draw and a very progressive profile.
GRACIOUS JOHN is a seasoned handicapper who has won on a range of surfaces and ground. In a race with lots of pace angles, he seems happiest tracking the pace and has the perfect draw to do that in stall five. He will be giving weight away to a couple of other progressive four-year-olds, but course form is very important around here and he is trained by leading Lingfield trainer David Evans.
Gracious John won this race last year off an official handicap rating of 107, he is today racing off 101.
David O’ Meara and Martin Harley are currently operating at a 33% strike rate when teaming up this season; their runner in this race is Alsvinder.
Midnight Malibu has travelled the furthest distance to race today, having completed 251 miles from her North Yorkshire base.
JOCKEY IN FOCUS
Adam Kirby was last season’s All-Weather Champion Jockey and is currently top jockey at Lingfield Park, having ridden 165 winners there since 2013. He has already won £443,086 in prize money this year on the all-weather alone. Although one of the tallest jockeys in the weighing- room, with his lowest riding weight being 9st, he is regarded as a master of the all-weather tracks. He rides Sir Maximilian in this race, a high- class performer in his day, winning at Meydan last year off a handicap mark of 108. He might be worth an interest each-way at nice odds.
The progressive MIDNIGHT MALIBU has taken well to the all-weather in her last two starts, winning nicely last time at Southwell. She is in the capable hands of this season’s current leading all-weather jockey Luke Morris and shrewd trainer Tim Easterby. She carries only 8st 6lbs and after showing a game attitude to win last time out, has earnt her place in this classy handicap.