Lingfield Preview: Gores Island handicapped to strike
Gores Island posted a career-best effort on seasonal reappearance and looks weighted to take all the beating in the 2m handicap chase at Lingfield today (2.40).
The Gary Moore trained gelding travelled very strongly until weakening late on to finish third of 11 to Little Boy Boru in a a class 3 handicap hurdle over 2m 4f at Sandown off a mark of 128 on his first run for 181 days.
Connections have decided to switch nine-year-old back to the larger obstacles this afternoon, and he is able to race off 8lb lower in this class 4 contest.
That makes Gores Island potentially very well-treated, especially as he shaped with plenty of promise over fences last season when twice finishing runner-up.
The son of Beneficial was also desperately unlucky not to open his chasing account when coming to grief two from home when two lengths clear at Exeter, and with underfoot conditions holding no fears and Joshua Moore in the saddle this looks a nice opening for Gores Island to make amends.
Elsewhere on the card, champion jockey Tont McCoy can complete a short-priced double courtesy of Coudy Copper and Rouquine Sauvage.
Cloudy Copper runs in the 3m novices’ chase (1.40) and looks a cut above his rivals.
The Jonjo O’Neill trained gelding looked a very smart prospect when winning both his starts over hurdles back in 2012, but was subsequently off the track for 896 days after suffering an injury.
However, the eight-year-old showed that he retained all his ability when a very promising three length runner-up to Top Totti on his first start over the larger obstacles at Uttoxeter last month and Cloudy Copper won’t have to improve on that run to go one better this afternoon.
Rouquine Sauvage was given an over confident ride by Rachael Green when runner-up last time out and with McCoy now taking over can get back on the winning trail in the 2m handicap hurdle (2.10).
The Anthony Honeyball trained mare looked miles ahead of the assessor when bolting up on handicap debut at Chepstow, and looked poised to follow-up at Uttoxeter when cruising to the front three from home.
However instead of kicking clear to put the race to bed, Green decided to sit quietly and after jumping left two from home Rouquine Sauvage could not hold the late lunge of Chestertern and went down by 1 1/2 lengths.
To me the seven-year-old should have won that 2m 5f contest, and with the drop back to 2m looking sure to suit Rouquine Sauvage looks a worthy favourite to land the spoils.
1.40: Cloudy Copper
2.10: Rouquine Sauvage (NB)
2.40: Gores Island (NAP)
3.10: Peqeno Diablo
3.40: Church Leap