By Rachel Candelora
This is a busy week on the All-Weather, culminating on Saturday with two Lingfield Fast-Track qualifiers for All-Weather Championship Day on Good Friday.
The “FTQ” for sprinters (The Cleves Stakes) looks a cracking race, given the entry but the Winter Derby Trial is arguably a little weaker than in other years.
I am planning a very busy Saturday as I am hoping to take in the entire card, as a fan, at Lingfield at the track before hot-footing it back to Ealing for Kempton Studio duties in the evening.
Although it was her fifth career start, this daughter of Distorted Humor still ran as green as grass when opening her account, by eight lengths, over 1m4f at Wolverhampton on Boxing Day.
That was when she was equipped with a first-time hood (which she wears again here), as she previously had over-raced.
Although she moves back up to 1m6f now there still appears to be quite a bit of pace on paper, which should enable Hector Crouch (who was aboard her at Wolverhampton) to get cover and sit a perfect stalking trip.
The handicapper certainly took no chances with her after her eight-length romp at Dunstall Park, but given that she appears to still have a lot to learn about racecraft she might still be open to considerable improvement for the Saeed Bin Suroor yard which has made an extremely solid start to the year domestically. You can get 100-30 with Bet365, BetVictor and Sky Bet.
I have touched on the penalty structure for novice stakes previously in this column and make no apology for highlighting it again here.
Win, lose or draw this is an excellent piece of placing by Andrew Balding for his colt Danzan, and the price of 2-9 illustrates that.
Given Danzan’s only win to date came in a Novice Auction Stakes and he escapes with only a 4lb penalty as opposed to a 7lbs penalty had he won an “open” novice.
Six furlongs appears to be his optimum trip at present and a reproduction of the same kind of form which saw him finish runner-up to the classy Corinthia Knight at Kempton earlier this month would easily be good enough to win this.
Although three of his four rivals are debutants, and therefore unknown quantities, any of those would have to run to a mark in the low 100s to be competitive against the selection, and very, very few horses ever run to that kind of mark on their first appearance.
Both career wins for this grey son of Camacho have come in small field races over course and distance and trainer Richard Fahey has found a similar race.
The handicapper certainly appears to have given him a chance to win again, as he is amazingly only 1lb higher than the mark he was given after his late November novice win.
Given he is a front-runner I like the fact that he is drawn on one of the wings in this short field (stall 5), which means Paul Hanagan can bag the often-favored stands-side rail. The price of 6-5 is fine.
6:23 Tampa Bay Downs - Special Event:
I have tipped a Godolphin filly at Chelmsford earlier in the day but here I am taking on a former Charlie Appleby-trained filly who stills= sports the Godolphin blue.
She is Glittering Jewel (#6) who will be making her third start in the US now under the care of Mike Stidham.
She has been placed in both of her US starts to date including last time out, when runner-up, in an identical race on the Tampa Bay dirt.
She sets a decent form standard but I will be amazed if Special Event, trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey and ridden by Tampa Bay’s leading rider Antonio Gallardo, does not improve past her.
This daughter of Arch put up a tremendous front-running performance to win here over 6 1/2f last time out from post position 11 and, given her breeding, she should improve leaps and bounds now that she is stepped up to two turns.
Given British bookmakers are likely to price up this race with the Godolphin filly as favourite, I would try to get an early price on Special Event before the bookmakers’ odds start mirroring the American Pools, which will have the two horses much closer together at the top of the market.
Rachel Candelora's Wednesday tips:
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