Saturday’s Action: Alfred Hutchinson ready to bounce back
No shortage of interesting contests this weekend and on Sunday, we have got the first meeting of Chelmsford’s new setup to cover. For today, however, it’s trusty old Lingfield and the one-mile fast track qualifier conditions stakes (2:35) is the first we’ll have a look at.
Irish raider Captain Joy is the current 2/1 favourite for Tracey Collins and Pat Smullen and that’s a reasonable assessment of his chances if the official ratings are to be believed. The 6-year-old is rated and weighted to win this if running up to his mark and on this surface, he could well do that.
Polytrack clearly brings the horse into his own (6-10 at Dundalk) but most of his wins have come over the 7f trip and although this is a sharp test at a mile, it must be questionable as to whether he deserves to be so short over this distance up against some talented rivals who could improve.
Big Baz, on recent evidence, is one of those potential improvers as the 5-year-old has been in the form of his life and on an upward curve since August time. Getting back onto the All-Weather for his latest couple of starts seems to have helped even further and there was nothing wrong with the horse’s neck-second at Kempton last time out. This track might suit better, but he still needs to find more and quotes of 3/1 looks short enough on the balance of it all.
On the other hand, the 9/2 available about Geoffrey Oldroyd’s ALFRED HUTCHINSON might be worth snapping up now that the 7-year-old has been applied with a visor for the first time. He hasn’t been performing up to his absolute best since returned to the All-Weather in November but it was encouraging how well he travelled into the race last time out over C&D and sticking to the rail up the home straight was far from ideal, so may explain why he didn’t do better. On form, he must go close and he’s the one to oppose the top two with.
SWIFT CEDAR (3/1) runs in the last race on Lingfield’s card (3:40) and an overdue handicap win could come the way of Dave Evans’ 5-year-old if he shows up as well as he did at Wolverhampton three weeks ago. Second was all he could muster there but the way he performed over the extended 1m 1f trip is an encouragement that his current career may lie over these sorts of distances and 1m 2f here should be within range. The whole shape of the race looks perfect, whilst his draw in stall 2 is sound, and a big run should be incoming.
Over at Warwick, although the ground is a doubt, SEGO SUCCESS (9/2) is nibble worthy in the three-mile handicap chase (1:55). There’s no question that the 7-year-old will have to improve to beat a couple of these but he has only had two starts over fences and both were filled with promise, particularly his Wetherby win over If In Doubt when last seen at the end of November. This sharp track is another minor worry but with questions over the likes of Deputy Dan and Mickie, among others, Alan King’s charge might still take advantage.
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