One from two yesterday for Alan Dudman, who turns to the all-weather on Monday, and relies on Pharoh Jake to come good at his favourite Lingfield venue....
"Having tried 10f on his latest start, I'm not sure this three-year-old wants to revert to 1m. He has a middle distance pedigree and two 1m5f winners in his page, and could be in trouble if this is a test of speed."
The best race on the Carlisle card is the 15:05 0-140 Handicap Chase, so fingers crossed the meeting passes the morning inspection - hence the two bonus races from Wolverhampton and Lingfield as a back-up.
Warren Greatrex's Warrantor has the look of a potential decent staying chaser, and can build on his victory at Lingfield earlier in the season.
He landed a Beginners' Chase at the Surrey venue in December, and having travelled and battled to beat Jennys Surprise that day, the runner-up has gone on to boost the form by winning recently at Sandown.
This horse was rated 135 as a novice hurdler, and looks all over a stayer. The testing conditions and trip should suit, and hopefully he'll last longer with the trainer's son Tom today than they did at Catterick last week (he unseated at the first).
15:25 Lingfield - Jake looks a fair bet on all-weather
I've included this race from 'leafy' as a caveat for the potential of losing Carlisle to the weather. The two flat cards are largely uninspiring, and with Wolverhampton staging TWO divisions of a low grade Amateur Riders' Handicap, I'll play safe with the 15:25.
The case is simple; John Bridger's Pharoh Jake runs for the 89th time, and is such a regular at Lingfield, he deserves a silver tankard and snooker cue behind the bar.
It's low grade stuff, but he likes the track and shaped well recently over 6f; his first start since September 2015. Trainer Tony Carroll has three of the five runners, but Pharoh Jake is now down to a decent handicap mark.
16:10 Carlisle - Hard to ignore Smith's Swing
Trainer Sue Smith has done this column a favour on more than one occasion, and the yard's Swing Hard is too well-handicapped to ignore in the 16:10 Handicap Chase over 2m4f.
The eight-year-old raced over further at Catterick recently, and ran into the improving (and very likeable stayer) Gonalston Cloud. The fact he has won over 3m in soft bodes well for a potential dour stamina test for this contest.
The obvious dangers are Abbey Storm, but he hasn't been seen for 508 days. Whilst John Louis was raised 10lb for winning at Bangor, and will face his stiffest stamina test today.
Swing Hard runs from a BHA rating of 108, but a year ago he ran in a decent contest at Musselburgh from a mark of 118. He is a sound jumper, and might be able to dominate this small field. He's the sort to trade higher in the race for an in-play bet.
16:55 Wolverhampton - Oppose the Derby entrant
Ed Dunlop's Manjaam holds a Derby entry, and probably has as much of a chance running in that as I do. We can use that bit of info to our advantage and look to lay this potential improver.
He makes his handicap debut from a mark of 68, and clearly must have been a late starter with three runs in quick succession from September to October. He showed ability staying from off the pace at Sandown, but he was well beaten at lesser venues Bath and Beverley subsequently.
Having tried 10f on his latest run, I'm not sure this three-year-old wants to revert to 1m. He has a middle distance pedigree and a pair of 1m5f winners in his page, so there's every chance he could be in trouble if this is a test of speed.
All of the previous winners in the race have scored over this distance and 7f, so I am happy to take on Manjaam.
Monday's Recommended Bets (all half point)
Back Warrantor @ 9/2 Sportsbook in the 15:05 at Carlisle
Back Pharoh Jake @ 3.505/2 in the 15:25 at Lingfield
Back Swing Hard @ 3.505/2 in the 16:10 at Carlisle
Place lay Manjaam @ 2.255/4 in the 16:55 at Wolverhampton
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Alan Dudman's Weekly P/L
This Week: -2.85
Previous week: - 0.86
2015 Profit: +20.14