Our Senior Analyst Jamie Lynch reveals his five to follow on Saturday, including in the Kachy and Tandridge Stakes, live on Sky Sports Racing.
12:10 – It’s Time To Turn To talkSPORT Handicap
As well as the potential positives with MATCHING SOX, the 12.10 over is also about the niggling negatives over the presumed protagonists.
Firstly, this race is different in make and shape to the one a fortnight ago which was the perfect storm for Harry Brown, unsure to play so much to his strengths this time, and then there’s the temperament misgivings around King’s Gen which increased after his hesitant odds-on defeat at Southwell last time.
Matching Sox is an unknown quantity, making his handicap debut here, but his mark of 79 has been held down by his heavy defeats since his debut win at Kempton, excuses for them, in too deep in a sales race at the Ebor meeting on his second start and rearing leaving the stalls on his reappearance, game over when that happens at Chelmsford’s speedway circuit.
The hood he wore as a juvenile is back on this time, and 6f should be better for him than 5f, hence he has more reason than most to improve in this spot.
1:16 – talkSPORT Powered By Fans Novice Stakes
Blue Lord in the Dublin Chase, El Fabiolo in the Irish Arkle and Fun Fun Fun in the graded mares’ bumper are just a few reasons why Messrs Muir and Souede will be zoned in on the Dublin Racing Festival this weekend, but they’ll be tuned into Sky Sports Racing for the 1.16 at Lingfield on Saturday to see if their FRENCH INVASION is as bright a star as he looked at Kempton on his debut.
Third-favourite in the betting behind a pair with experience, French Invasion put on quite the show and left everything in his wake, no fluke about his six-length winning margin, nowhere near the bottom of him.
The less-galloping configuration of Lingfield may mean he’s slower on the uptake but he has the power to defy a penalty, giving 5 lb to Fox Vision perhaps more of a task in theory than in practice given that one’s rather half-hearted display when favourite last time.
2:26 – BetUK Kachy Stakes
If there was ante-post betting for the Sprint Final on Good Friday, ANNAF would be top of it.
His record at Newcastle includes two wins and a second in the Chipchase, and he has raised his game to another level this year, winning at Lingfield and Kempton with two of the very best performances at any distance so far this winter, partnered both times by Rossa Ryan, a match maintained here.
It will admittedly be harder for him to overpower this listed field in the same way, and Lingfield always requires an element of luck for a hold-up horse, but the fact he’s fit and firing so forcefully puts him in pole position in a field in which five of his rivals are returning from an absence. Granted a level playing field, Annaf should complete the hat-trick en route to Newcastle on April 7.
3:01 – Spreadex Sports Tandridge Stakes
Qualifiers such as the mile event at 3.01 are of added difficulty because assessment is about agenda and not just ability. Sir Busker, the class act, was third to Baaeed in the Juddmonte the last time we saw him, which rather begs the question of what’s he doing here, on top of the question of whether whizzing around Lingfield is really his bag?
In a different way, Lord Of The Lodge and Mums Tipple are testing the water regards the trip, neither proven at as far as a mile, and Manaafith is also on a fact-finding mission, against the males for the first time.
In short, TEMPUS has the least to prove, while he’s also got the joint-highest rating (with Sir Busker) courtesy of his summer surge that won him back-to-back Group 3s, and the readiness for his return is probably more steadfast for him because he has won first time out in three seasons.
He has never raced at Lingfield, but he certainly has the tools for the job, being speedy and straightforward: indeed, he can front run if needs be.
3:36 – Huge Daily Boosts Only At BetUK Handicap
Let’s get the unflattering stuff out of the way first: she’s out of the winning habit (16-month losing sequence) and has her flaws and foibles. And yet STARRY EYES is drawing me in for the closing handicap at 3.36, albeit a leap of faith.
It was only three runs back that she was beaten just a neck into second around here, at a mile, and on both starts since she has travelled as if still in form.
It’s a hunch, but doing something different here – with the trip – may perk her up, and she has the inside draw from which to be buried and produced as late as possible, which she probably needs these days.
Brett Johnson has had one winner (from 17 Flat runners) in 2023, but as many as five seconds tell a better tale of the stable form and, though it’s always hope rather than expectation with Starry Eyes, her odds means she comes down on the right side of the risk/reward calculation.
Watch every race from Lingfield Park on Saturday live on Sky Sports Racing (Sky 415 | Virgin 535).