IT’S the biggest day of the all-weather season on Friday and in-form Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) has taken a look at the card for us.
Lingfield 14:10 | Channel 4
I have narrowed this race down to two horses, and they are the first two in the market.
Pretend, trained by Charlie Appleby and ridden by William Buick is the favourite and has won four from six on the all weather over the winter. He has looked progressive, and given his style of racing its unlikely we have seen the best of him.
His last win, (beating the winner of last year’s version of this race in the process) was impressive and he will be hard to beat, but not unbeatable.
Chookie Royale is an all weather specialist. In 17 starts he has been placed 14 times, winning seven of these. Okay, the three times he’s not been placed were here, but there were excuses. Once was over 10 furlongs (too far) once over a mile at this meeting last year and the other over seven furlongs beaten less than three lengths in a messy race. So there are excuses there.
In his career Chookie has raced mainly between seven and nine furlongs, but in recent months he has been reborn as a sprinter. He destroyed a good field at Chelmsford before being collared close home over seven furlongs at Wolverhampton, but in that race he showed unbelievable pace and was 10 lengths clear of the field 2 furlongs out.
I’m convinced he will run a huge race and see him as a great value each way bet at 11/2 with Betfair.
Lingfield 14:40 | Channel 4
This is a seven runner race where you can give a chance to six of the runners, but there is only one horse in the race that I will be backing.
Tempus Temporis trained by John Gosden has improved out of all recognition in his final two starts and I think he will take this step up in class in his stride.
A $300,000 purchase as a yearling, this Dynaformer colt was always going to be suited by sand. After failing to make much impact in two Newmarket maidens he switched to the all-weather where he disappointed in a Lingfield maiden.
Realising he was not fulfilling his potential, Gosden applied blinkers to Tempus and the results were immediate. He hacked up in a Kempton maiden before easing home at Chelmsford in a qualifier for this race.
His performance there isn’t far off the best form on offer, and with the promise of much more to come I make him my bet of the day at 11/4 with BetVictor.
Lingfield 14:10 – Chookie Royale each way (11/2 Betfair)
Lingfield 14:40 – Tempus Temporis to win (11/4 BetVictor)