Lingfield Preview: Gifted Girl can bloom in Fleur De Lys
Lingfield stage an excellent eight-race card today to kick-off the new All-Weather Championships season, and Gifted Girl looks to have plenty going for her in the Fleur De Lys Fillies’ Stakes (2.50).
The Paul Cole-trained filly has only had two runs on the polytrack surface, finishing runner-up at Kempton before landing a handicap over course and distance by a runaway 4 1/2 lengths back in 2012.
Since then, the five-year-old has developed into a really useful sort and boasts some top class form in Listed/Group company.
They include a fine 3/4 length runner-up to Thistle Bird in a Group 3 contest at Epsom, and a solid third behind Group 1-winning fillies Esoterique and Integral in the Group 3 Dahlia Stakes on seasonal reappearance this year.
That is very strong form in the context of this contest, and Gifted Girl has not been at her best in her last three starts. It would be no surprise to see her bounce back if the fitting of the cheekpieces for the first time have the desired effect.
A daughter of Azamour, Gifted Girl has also bagged a good draw in stall 1, and this race represents a slight drop in grade.
In the Coral App Download From The App Store Handicap (2.20), Little Buxted can take advantage on a drop in class to land the spoils.
The Robert Mills-trained gelding has just one win to his name, with that success coming over course and distance back in January 2013.
However, the four-year-old has run a number of solid races to finish in the frame, including when an excellent 1/2 length runner-up to Red Runaway in a class 4 contest over 1m 4f at this venue back in July, off his current mark of 74.
Little Buxted also ran a really solid race three starts back in similar grade affair when going down by just a neck to War Singer over this afternoon’s trip of 1m 2f at Sandown, and now takes a drop down into class 5 company.
That should enable the son of Mr Greeley to be really competitive, and the booking of Graham Lee to do the steering suggests connections mean business.
Lee has partnered Little Buxted just once before, when getting beaten a short-head at Kempton, and has a terrific overall strike rate of 37.5 per cent when teaming up with runners from the Mills yard.
12.50: Crystal Zvezda
2.20: Little Buxted (NB)
2.50: Gifted Girl (NAP)
4.20: Choice Of Destiny