In the novice handicap chase at Warwick this afternoon I hope to see Le Grand Fromage (2.20) make a winning chase debut for Tom Lacey. The five-year-old has the scope to make his mark over fences and is a half-brother to six winners including leading hurdler Ballyandy. This will be the fastest ground that Tom Lacey’s charge has encountered to date but there looks no reason why he should not be at least as effective on good ground.
Getaway Mag (2.50) improved for the switch to good ground when scoring at Doncaster from a 3lbs lower mark at Doncaster back in February. This winning pointer will jump a fence in time, but she is taken to land this fillies and mares handicap despite the steadier of 11st 12lbs. Dan Skelton’s mare is 5/2 at Boylesports.
Three of the five runners in the 3m 2f handicap hurdle won last time out including Present Chief (3.30) who scored at Uttoxeter over three miles for Jonjo O’Neill in the manner of a progressive staying hurdler. The handicapper has had his say, but a 10lbs higher mark may not be enough to prevent him following up although Neville’s Cross and top-weight Lougarne will ensure he does not have things all his own way. The selection is 13/8 at bet365.
Bumper winner Beholden (4.50) steps up in trip for his handicap debut on the flat at Lingfield -polytrack – this afternoon where he will have the assistance of the excellent Tom Marquand for the first time. Mick Channon’s gelding -10/3 with William Hill – was beaten less than a length at Chepstow over 12f last time and today’s additional quarter mile should suit this strong travelling four-year-old.
Rydan has never won at Lingfield but it was not too long ago that he finished runner up over today’s C&D from a 13lbs higher mark. The booking of William Buick suggests Gary Moore believes his nine-year-old will run a big race and a market would be significant.
Scots Sonnet finished third behind George Ridsdale at Newcastle last time but would probably have finished second had he had a clear passage. The winner is now rated 12lbs higher and that was his first start over this 10f trip. If you could guarantee that he would settle he would hold outstanding claims, but he is overlooked and I am going to take a chance on Majestic Stone (5.10) despite the fact that he is invariably a slow starter.
The ew selection – 13/2 at Boylesports– has only won once in his 33 starts, but he has run some very good races in defeat of late and I thought he looked a sure-fire future winner when runner up to subsequent winner Highwaygrey at Pontefract back in June.
Light Refrain (6.10) drops back in distance by a furlong for his all-weather debut having made most at a good clip when runner up at Salisbury last time when she had the third almost 5L back. A daughter of Frankel out of a 7f winner the William Haggas filly does not scream sprinter on pedigree, but this stiff track should suit. The 6/4 with bet365 looks fair.
Karl Burke’s Terrichang – third in a listed race at Ripon last time – looks the obvious danger but I hope to see a Royal winner at Gosforth Park. Danny Tudhope takes the ride with Marquand staying south at Lingfield.
We have not seen Valyrian Steel (4.20) since he made a winning debut at Newcastle on the first day back from lockdown at the beginning of June, but he is taken to maintain his unbeaten record at Beverley. That form looked strong at the time but has not quite worked out as well as expected, although I still believe Roger Varian’s colt can give 7lbs to his four rivals.