All-Weather guru Simon Mapletoft previews 4:15 Lingfield 3yo Sprint
ANONYMOUS JOHN: Tough, consistent and versatile gelding who has been placed in all six races in good company from 5f to 1m since winning a 6f handicap at Wolverhampton in December; sure to run his race but likely to be done for toe.
HARRY HURRICANE: Raced up with a break-neck pace in a Wolverhampton qualifier last time when run down by the smart Primrose Valley; earned a 12lb increase for that so entitled to take his chance here and might just surprise a few.
LIGHTSCAMERACTION: Reliable colt who has run some solid races behind the likes of Primrose Valley and Merdon Castle but hasn’t got his head in front since debut on turf and likely to come up short again here.
MERDON CASTLE: Smart colt who ground out a Fast Track Qualifier win over this trip at Chelmsford in February, beating Apache Storm a neck, but readily swept aside by Primrose Valley over C&D soon after and no reason why he should turn the tables.
MIGNOLINO: Made a winning AW debut over this trip at Wolverhampton in February and has run two solid races in defeat behind Primrose Valley and Blue Aegean; weights suggest he’ll struggle to close the gap on these terms, though.
PORTAMENTO: Listed second on turf who justified cramped odds to beat Apache Storm in a Fast Track Qualifier at Wolverhampton in December and rested since; well-regarded and proven over C&D so highly respected with a better draw than leading rival Primrose Valley giving him another vital edge.
SQUATS: Looked useful when Listed and Group Three placed last year but too fresh on his return behind Merdon Castle at Chelmsford and didn’t look comfortable around the final bend when 4.5l adrift of Primrose Valley over CD latest; disappointing.
APACHE STORM: Put in her place by Portamento in a Fast Track Qualifier at Wolverhampton in December; bettered that when second to Merdon Castle in a similar race at Chelmsford and excuses latest when saddle slipped; place claims at best on these terms.
BLUE AEGEAN: Goes well fresh and back from a break to post a clear career best over C&D last month (Mignolino almost 3l behind); raised 12lb for that to a mark of 102 but will probably still have to improve again to figure in this better race.
PRIMROSE VALLEY: Highly progressive this year, winning four in a row including a Fast Track Qualifier at Wolverhampton when she had to overcome a slow start; has the beating of several of these on recent form, including over C&D, but her draw in stall 10 must compromise her prospects.
RED STRIPES: Shown significant improvement since dropped to sprinting trips after beginning season a lowly mark of just 49; progressed 31lb with wins at Southwell and Chelmsford but not up to this class.
VERDICT: This will be fast and furious and those drawn low might steal a decisive advantage. Primrose Valley has won all four starts this year and overcame a slow start to beat some of these at Wolverhampton last month but has a poor berth in stall 10. A 5lb fillies’ allowance puts her in with a serious chance at the weights with Godolphin’s top rated PORTAMENTO who might just have the edge with a better draw in his favour. Good enough to be second in Listed company on turf, he looked smart in dispatching inferior rivals at Wolverhampton and has since thrived for his winter break. Stable companion Blue Aegean and Fast Track Qualifier winner Merdon Castle both have place claims.