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About Simon:

Simon has worked as a racing journalist since 1994 and can be seen regularly on the award-winning Sky Sports’ channel At The Races, presenting live horse racing from the track and the studio. He is widely regarded as the leading expert on All-Weather racing, spearheading the coverage of the annual All-Weather Championships on At The Races. Simon will be contributing weekly articles on his best picks for the all weather action

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Simon Mapletoft – Weekend Review & Mid-Week Selections

At The Races’ All-Weather expert Simon Mapletoft looks ahead to the midweek action and reflects upon another Fast Track Qualifier victory for super filly Lamar at Wolverhampton on Friday.

Varian star steps up in Lingfield feature

He may only be facing three rivals, but the exciting MINDUROWNBUSINESS will have to be at his best when he steps into the unknown at Lingfield on Wednesday. The four-year-old has been in explosive form in two valuable mile races but must prove his stamina in the 10-furlong Coral Conditions Stakes (2.30).

Victory at the Surrey track would certainly open up the options for Varian, who appears to have one eye on the big Middle Distance races in the new year, culminating in the Group Three Winter Derby and, of course, the £200,000 Coral Easter Classic on Good Friday. Mindurownbusiness wasn’t convincing on his only previous try at the trip, but that was on turf at Newmarket as a three-year-old. He has since won the Lincoln Trial Handicap at Wolverhampton over the extended mile and promises to take the extra yardage in his stride.

Wednesday’s opposition should pose a conclusive test, however. Battalion, from the William Haggas stable, won last season’s Listed Churchill Stakes over course and distance while Energia Davos beat a quality field to win the Group Three Darley Stakes at Newmarket in October. The former wasn’t disgraced behind the smart Let’s Go in last month’s renewal of the Churchill and should be sharper for that re-appearance, and may prove a bigger danger than Energia Davos, who has to shoulder a penalty and hasn’t won in 10 attempts on an artificial surface. The only other runner is Mick Appleby’s Ansaab, who is proven on the track but is 16lb wrong with Mindurownbusiness on these terms.

Lamar takes the fast track – for the second time!

Horse Racing - Chelmsford City Racecourse

What a remarkable filly LAMAR is. James Tate’s four-year-old produced a top notch performance to beat a quality field in last Friday’s Fast Track Qualifier at Wolverhampton for the Fillies’ and Mares’ Final – her second golden ticket of the season so far following success in the Listed Fleur De Lys Stakes at Lingfield at the end of October.

Champion jockey Luke Morris was at his brilliant best on the daughter of Cape Cross, who had to work hard to maintain her advantage over a trip short of her best. She dug deep to repel the fast-finishing Kyllachy Queen, with South African Graded winner Cold As Ice travelling well but disappointing back in fourth. A date in the paddocks beckons for Lamar but I hope she will remain in training to take her chance on Good Friday in a race she finished an unlucky second in last season.

Tiger set to roar at Lingfield

Brother_Tiger

Doncaster trainer David Griffiths has enjoyed high-level success with yard flagbearer Take Cover but has set his sights on more big prizes with stable companion BROTHER TIGER, who looks the one to beat in the feature sprint at Lingfield on Wednesday (2.00).

This triple course and distance winner couldn’t arrive in better form for the five-furlong dash, having finished well in second to classy veteran Medicean Man at Chelmsford City last time when stumbling at the start. Prior to that the son of Singspiel posted another rock solid performance behind the useful Doctor Sardonicus despite being drawn wide in stall 10. Drawn well in two this time, he returns off an unchanged mark.

Godolphin gelding looks progressive

OCEANOGRAPHER with M Lane wins Maiden Stakes at Pontefract 6-10-14.

Patience has been a virtue as far as OCEANOGRAPHER is concerned. Trainer Charlie Appleby had him gelded after a disappointing run in the spring and would have been thrilled with the manner of his comeback win over 10 furlongs at Chelmsford City last month.

The lightly raced, unexposed son of Sea The Stars steps up a furlong at Kempton on Thursday (6.10) and can defy a justified 14lb rise under the excellent Adam Kirby. Appleby has done well with similar staying types such as Anglophile and Gold Trail and it would be no surprise to see this fellow tackle longer trips in due course. He may have the most to fear from Barye, a powerful galloper who showed last season that he can be competitive off his current mark and makes his debut for Richard Hughes.

Meehan sprinter ready to strike

Brian Meehan’s sprinter NEWTON’S LAW overcame a poor draw to finish well at Lingfield last time and looks ready to make his presence felt in the 4.40 at Kempton on Wednesday. The four-year-old was eased in the ratings for finishing an eyecatching fifth at the Surrey track and is now only 2lb higher than when successful at Newmarket back in the summer.

A hold-up performer, he shouldn’t be troubled by his draw in stall eight and, assuming he gets away on terms, looks to have the beating once again of Newmarket runner-up Sandfrankskipsgo – a leading contender under the newly married George Baker.

Best Bets:
Brother Tiger (Nap)
2.00 Lingfield (Wednesday)

Newton’s Law (ew)
4.40 Kempton (Wednesday)

Oceanographer
6.10 Kempton (Thursday)