All-Weather guru Simon Mapletoft previews 3:15 Lingfield Mile Final
ALFRED HUTCHINSON: Boasts a fine record on AW (6-19) and ran up to best when second to Captain Joy in first-time visor in a Fast Track Qualifier over C&D in January; third in this last year and place claims once again.
BIG BAZ: Powerful gelding who cut down a good field over C&D in November but failed to reproduce that form in two subsequent runs (including behind Captain Joy) before a winter break; back with a bang here on return, however, with fast-finishing second to Lunar Deity and likely there is more to come.
CAPO ROSSO: Probably best at 7f, as he showed at Wolverhampton in October; lightly raced since but never landed a blow against Sovereign Debt in Listed company and Lunar Deity over C&D and others more convincing.
CAPTAIN JOY: Irish raider who confirmed improvement shown at Dundalk with a dominant display in a Fast Track Qualifier over C&D in January (Alfred Hutchinson second); beaten (odds-on) in a qualifier in Ireland last month when too far off a slow pace and might just find a few of these too speedy.
DON’T CALL ME: Best of three qualifying runs came over 9.5f at Wolverhampton in February, when denied a clear run behind subsequent Winter Derby winner Tryster; struggled against Mindurownbusiness over C&D before 15th of 22 in Lincoln latest.
GREY MIRAGE: Consistent AW performer who peaked last winter and would have finished closer in last year’s Final but for a poor draw and a troubled passage; found life tougher this term, though often from poor draws, and does find 1m stretching him to his limits.
LUNAR DEITY: Looked in handicapper’s grip when disappointing over 7f here in February but bounced back when getting first run on Big Baz over C&D; work to do now up in grade despite a 5lb rise putting him in with a chance at the weights.
MELVIN THE GRATE: Hold-up performer who looked as progressive as any in this category in early part of season, winning twice including over C&D, but no excuses behind Lunar Deity and Mindurownbusiness twice since so plenty to prove now.
MINDUROWNBUSINESS: Bought with this race in mind for 85,000gns at Autumn Sales and got better of Sovereign Debt in a C&D handicap before adding valuable Lincoln Trial to his CV; swerved Lincoln proper to run in this, despite being well in at weights, and likely to go well despite being 8lb wrong with top rated rival.
SOVEREIGN DEBT: Classy enough to finish second in Group One Lockinge Stakes in 2013 and returned from 15-month break in great form; too much to do when closing second to Mindurownbusiness but way he gunned down Chookie Royale in Listed company latest suggests he’ll be hard to beat on such favourable terms.
TENOR: Dual C&D winner who was placed twice in Meydan over longer trips in January/February; struggled in Winter Derby latest and hard to see him bouncing back here despite lofty rating.
TIGERS TALE: Front runner who has crept up the ratings this winter without winning; picked off by Mindurownbusiness and Lunar Deity in last two starts, both over C&D, and likely to set up this better race for the closing pack.
PRESUMIDO: Twice a winner over this trip at Kempton this winter but out of his depth in this company.
SANTEFISIO: Without a win since November 2012 but showed he is no back number by chasing home Mindurownbusiness in Lincoln Trial at Wolverhampton when finding himself too far back; this looks much harder.
VERDICT: Back within 2lb of the mark he ran off when finishing second in the Group One Lockinge Stakes two years ago, SOVEREIGN DEBT has come back from a lengthy lay-off in great form. He posted his best effort of the season when coming from another parish to win a 7f Listed race at Wolverhampton and will appreciate the return to 1m. The improving Mindurownbusiness beat him over C&D in February and has since won the valuable Lincoln Trial but has 8lb to find with the Dandy Nicholls runner on these terms, which demands another significant step forward. Alfred Hutchinson and Grey Mirage were both in the money in last year’s race and have similar claims, while Big Baz has the scope to improve on his closing second here last time and is respected.