Lingfield Placepot: Saturday March 22

It's Winter Derby day at Lingfield.

Timeform's Matt Gardner tackles an excellent card at Lingfield for Saturday's Placepot...

"Quite a competitive affair but it largely revolves around the returning Ertijaal who met with a setback after his Yarmouth romp, but remains a most exciting prospect..."

14:10 - It's a fairly low key opening contest but a tricky one nonetheless, with something to recommend the majority of the field. The two most solid options appear to be Sian Gwalia, who scored with some authority at Wolverhampton a week ago and cannot be ruled out off a 6 lb higher mark, and Bert The Alert, who has posted two solid efforts in defeat since winning here in January and should go well again.

14:40 - The pick at the weights is just about Kingsgate Choice, who was better than ever last year and has a victory over C&D to his name. He also goes well fresh so makes plenty of appeal from a Placepot perspective. The second selection is Ladies Are Forever, who was successful in this race 12 months ago. She wasn't quite at her best on her return but can leave that behind and get in the mix for the places.

15:15 - Quite a competitive affair but it largely revolves around the returning Ertijaal who met with a setback after his Yarmouth romp, but remains a most exciting prospect and can take this before going on to greater things. On the off chance that he bombs out however it's worth including an insurance selection in the shape of American Hope, who took a marked step forward when runner-up here over six furlongs last time and appeals as the type to go on improving.

15:50 - My fancy for the Winter Derby is Rebellious Guest, who looks far too big at 17.016/1, but for the Placepot the best option is to bank on Grandeur. He looks the class act in this field, has the right man on board in Ryan Moore and seems highly unlikely to finish outside of the first three.

16:25 - Shafrah is bred for speed and shaped like a sprinter on his two starts as a juvenile, so the step up to a mile is far from certain to suit. The two to take are L'Importante, who is sure to leave his debut effort behind, and the well-bred newcomer Mount Shamsan, who hails from a top yard and could go very close to making a belated winning start.

17:00 - A competitive handicap makes up the final leg and the Mark Johnston-trained Mondlicht is probably the one open to most improvement. However he needs to prove himself to be as good on polytrack as he is fibresand so can be opposed with Stasio, who has shaped well on his last couple of outings, and Atlantis Crossing, who boasts a good strike rate on this surface and was unlucky not to finish closer on his return earlier this month.

Selections: 
14:10 - 5, 6
14:40 - 6, 7
15:15 - 1, 4
15:50 - 1
16:25 - 2, 6
17:00 - 6, 7
= 32 lines

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