Friday Racing Tips: A trio of Good Friday bets from Lingfield

All eyes on Lingfield for Tony Calvin on Good Friday
All eyes on Lingfield for Tony Calvin on Good Friday

Good Friday means Lingfield's All-Weather Finals and Tony Calvin has attempted to unwrap the card for some Easter value...

"I kept coming back to Alben Star at double-figure odds. This race will suit his closing style (at least eight of the field like to be prominent) and his superb record in this race - he won in 2014 and as second last year - obviously marks him out as a horse of interest from the outset."

Saucy Minx can chill odds-on favourite in opener


Plenty of quality racing and, unfortunately, justifiably short-priced favourites on show at the All-Weather Finals Good Friday card, and Cold As Ice is odds-on across the fixed-odds board - and 1.715/7 on the Exchange - in the Fillies And Mares that opens the meeting at 13:40.

In truth, this doesn't look my kind of punting card, so I will be keeping stakes on the low side.

Clearly, Cold As Ice deserves to head the market, and by some distance. She had Grade 1 form over a mile in South Africa before joining William Haggas, for all those performances are hard to gauge, and confirmed herself the best filly in this race when making all to give Realize 2lb and three-quarters-of-a-length over 7f at Chelmsford in December.

Realize has won two of his three starts since, and was unlucky not to get much closer in the defeat, and runs later on in the card. So that form is very solid and Cold As Ice cemented herself as the hot favourite, and likeliest winner, of this race when an unlucky, and fast-finishing, third here last month.

Considering that run came over 6f and she met trouble in running after a tardy start, and still finished within two lengths of two 100+-rated horses, she will undoubtedly prove hard to beat if able to adopt her favoured front-running tactics or at least get a good position.

But she doesn't want to miss the start today from the widest draw, as Bint Dandy and Skidby Mill in particular like to go on as well, though on the other hand there are only 10 runners. At the price, I can let her win.

For those that want an obvious each-way alternative to the favourite then Volunteer Point, in-form and the second-highest horse in the race behind Cold As Ice, fits the bill at around the 5/1 mark. She looks very solid.

However, I am going to put up Saucy Minx win and place at 13.012/1 and 3.55/2 respectively to small stakes. She broke her duck on the track when winning over course and distance last time in what arguably was a career-best at the age of six.

It could be that the ditching of the long-term blinkers brought about the improvement there, but the victory certainly came in a good time and she looks a decent each-way play at 12-1 (1/5 the odds, three places) on the Sportsbook.


Alben Star could sparkle in the Sprint


It is a common theme throughout the meeting that it is hard to argue with those heading the markets, and that is the case, to a certain degree at least, with Lancelot Du Lac in the Sprint at 14:10.

He broke his duck at this track at the fourth attempt on his last visit here in December 2014 and has looked as good as ever of late, most recently when making light of a wide draw to win over 5f at Chelmsford in January. This is more his trip, too.

However, I would be wanting a bigger price than 4.1 to get with him, as this race has a lot of depth and being drawn 13 of 14 is clearly not good news. And on the class front he is one of four horses in here with a mark of 109, and luck will have a big part to play in this 14-runner race. It's an easy pass with that draw.

He clearly should be towards the head of the market but I wouldn't be too surprised if the highly-regarded Goken, who won over course and distance for the stable in November, went off favourite.

I was initially going to sit this one out, but I kept coming back to Alben Star at double-figure odds.

This race will suit his closing style (at least eight of the field like to be prominent) and his superb record in this race - he won in 2014 and as second last year - obviously marks him out as a horse of interest from the outset.

He shaped very well over 5f behind Lightscameraction here recently, considered he was positioned wide throughout, and at 14.013/1 he rates a small interest stepped up to his optimum trip.


Moonrise the best of the jollies


In the Marathon at 14:40, Moonrise Landing would have been a fair bet at 3.55/2 or bigger on the Exchange given her progressive profile since being stepped up to 2m, and at 5/2 she probably made the most appeal of all the favourites running at the meeting at the odds.

But all the 5/2 disappeared from the fixed-odds and exchange front from 2pm on Thursday, and she is now 3.259/4. Yes, I know people laugh at a mere quarter of a point dictating "bet or no bet" but you have to draw the line somewhere, and 5-2 was my "non tipping point".

However, if you can get that price at any stage before the off, I would have a nibble. She will be probably be dropped out from stall two, which may bring with it some in-running hardship, but other than that she has everything going for her

She is one from one on the all-weather here, and progressed into a smart stayer at the end of last year, posting a good time figure when beating Anglophile by four-and-a-half lengths at Wolverhampton in December.

This has obviously been the plan ever since, she is the highest-rated horse in the line-up as well as being the most progressive, and she must take the world of beating. If you are looking for one at a price John Reel at 12/1-plus looks fair.


The Mile and the Classics are ones to watch


In the mile at 15:15 Mindyourownbusiness just shades last season's unlucky runner-up in this race, Sovereign Debt, in the betting and they rightfully take out a large chunk of the market at around 2/1 and 3/1 respectively.

Mindyourownbusiness was seriously impressive at Wolverhampton last time and he would get my vote over Sovereign Debt, who possibly had a harder race than ideal when just touched off when returning after a three-month break at the same track last time.

But the improving Mister Universe obviously can't be ruled out, even from his poor draw in 12, and neither can the likes of Captain Cat and Big Baz so this race gets a swerve.

Grendisar looks a pretty solid favourite to me in the Easter Classic at 15:45, but he has four horses within 5lb of him on official figures and I can't have him at the 2.166/5 mark.

Of course, he is much the likeliest winner and I struggled to put one up against him, though I did toy with Fire Fighting at a double-figure price, though concluded he could find things happening just a touch too quickly over 1m2f around here. As with Volunteer Point earlier on in the card, the second-favourite Maverick Wave looks the most solid each-way play if you don't like the favourite at the price.

The final two races on the card aren't on Channel 4 but they also feature two shorties in the shape of Gracious John in the 16:15 - though Wolowitz isn't too far behind him in the market - and Haalick in the 3yo mile at 16:45.

I have been a fan of Haalick ever since he won on his debut at Haydock last July and he came back to form when winning over 7f here last time, and he is my idea of the winner if lasting home over this extra furlong, which I think he will.

But, at the risk of repeating myself for the umpteenth time, his odds at around 2.767/4 just don't get the punting juices flowing, especially as Cape Speed in particular looks a big threat.

I really would watch a lot of these favourites win without my cash at the available prices; if you think different then best of luck. I'll be at Lingfield, so come and say hello if you are.


Wolverhampton too tough to call


There are also a couple of £50k handicaps on the all-weather at Wolverhampton, and the 14:25 in particular is an incredibly trappy contest. Marginal preference would be for Turn Tide from an-form stable but certainly not enough to get me betting.

Lycidas wouldn't have been suited by the soft ground when disappointing on his belated hurdles debut last month and he makes some appeal off the same mark as when a good fourth in the Silver Cup for Charlie Fellowes at York in July in the 14:55.

And, furthermore, he is two from two at this track, and the first-time tongue tie is another interesting angle.

I was very tempted to put him up as a bet but the form of the James Ewart stable does concern me a fair bit, so very another reluctant pass on that fact alone.

It is also worth noting that this is a late replacement fixture for the abandoned Musselburgh card, so this would have been an afterthought for many, and not a long-term plan.


Recommended Bets
Back Saucy Minx at 13.012/1 to win and 3.55/2 to place in the 13:40 at Lingfield
Back Alben Star at 14.013/1 in the 14:10 at Lingfield
Back Moonrise Landing if she trades at 3.55/2 or bigger in the 14:40 at Lingfield

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