Good Friday Racing Tips: Tony Calvin says Sky's the limit for Defender at Lingfield

Lingfield All-Weather action
It's All-Weather Championship day at Lingfield on Good Friday

The all-weather meetings at Lngfield and Newcastle aren't usually Tony Calvin's cup of tea, but our man still has one big-price tip for you to consider on Good Friday...

"...he is a course winner, and his placed handicap form here and at Wolverhampton earlier in the year puts him on the coat-tails of the form horses."

Back Sky Defender in 16:15 at Lingfield at 17.016/1

I'd be lying if I said the all-weather was my premier punting bag - and regular readers would know I was fibbing if I claimed that, anyway - so if you are looking for a plethora of Good Friday bets here then you will be disappointed.

Normal rules apply. If I am not betting myself, I can hardly tip, and the plethora of small fields among the 10 ITV races - just four of the contests have attracted eight of more runners for each-way punters - certainly doesn't help matters.

So I am just going to focus, in any detail, on the races where I have a betting opinion, and you will be glad to know that means a shorter and snappier column than usual.

Right favourites to commence Lingfield's card

Let's kick off at Lingfield, a track where I have enjoyed a good few gin-soaked Good Fridays - and, even better, it was a free bar, too - since the All-Weather Championships began.

The opening seven-runner Marathon at 14:00 is tricky but I agree with the market in that Rainbow Dreamer, the highest-rated in here on 110, is the right favourite, even allowing for the fact that this is his course debut.

Unfortunately, he is also the right price at around 9/4 on the exchange against three of four that the betting also tells you have a live chance as well.

The six-runner 7f Listed fillies' and mares' contest at 14:35 has a strong jolly in evens poke Indie Angel.

Normally, these are the sorts that make the market for me and are ones I look to get beaten, but she has a commanding chance on the book and on the clock, and she has the course angle ticked too after an impressive win here in October.

With Long John and The Real Slim Thady (I will use the latter nickname a few more times before I ditch it, and possibly even less so if told to) Gosden combo in top form, I think you have to give her a better chance than a toin-coss (i.e. I'd rather be a backer than a layer at evens) but I can let her win untipped myself.

Harry could be a Diligent bet if drifting

Recent Wolverhampton winner Venturous just about appealed most in the 12-runner 6f affair at 15:10 but even then a price of around 7/1 is not that flashy considering this hold-up performer will need plenty of luck around here on his course debut.

I hate agreeing with the market but it is clear that Diligent Harry should be coming into the 15:45 unbeaten and he deserves to top the betting.

Lingfield generic 1280x720.jpg

He made all on his first two starts and only went down in a photo after blowing the start here last time but, once again, there is surely little juice in his current price of 9/4 on the exchange.

If he drifts, then I could definitely entertain him, but I would be looking for 7/2 myself given this is clearly his stiffest task to date, he does have a fair bit to find on official figures and he has pace (and market) rival Mighty Gurkha lurking two stalls away on his outside.

Promise and profile is one thing, price is another. Zamaani is probably the each-way angle in his first-time cheekpieces after being gelded, and maybe Yasaman is too with the blinkers back on, but this is yet another race which is very easy to leave alone.

Ticks in right boxes for Defender in the Classic

And the same was going to apply to the six-runner Easter "Classic" at 16:15 until I saw Sky Defender was trading at 16/1+ on the exchange.

Judged on his last two outings, the most recent of which was at Kempton last Saturday, he should be a 40s poke but never let a bad run or two put you off a horse from this stable, especially when you are handsomely compensated by the price.

Which we are here, I feel.

Even from his outside stall in six, he really should get on the lead here, and if he returns to his best then he could put it up to Bangkok and Forest Of Dean.

He has twice backed up to good effort when turned out again within a week - finishing second in a Group 3 at Germany last season, just seven days after being touched off at Chelmsford - he is a course winner, and his placed handicap form here and at Wolverhampton earlier in the year puts him on the coat-tails of the form horses.

I'll take my chances at 17.016/1 or bigger, given the tactics angle. He is also 16/1 on the Sportsbook for those that want to play there.

Bless Him's chances not to be sniffed at but I can pass

At 7yo, Bless Him lacks the scope and room for progress of some of his rivals but he brings a high level of form to the table when on his A-game, and his Newcastle win in January and his Meydan run last time suggests he is not far off it.

He was considered at around 12/1 in the 16:45 but it isn't hard to see him running well and finishing out of the frame here, given the depth of the race, albeit one lacking a stand-out.

I am not one to force it, and that thought was hammered home when looking at Newcastle's four ITV races, only one of which has attracted more than six runners.

And the other nine-strong contest does nothing for me either, so that is Newcastle done and dusted in two short paragraphs.

Underwhelming punting Good Friday cards, and I am not pretending otherwise.

Good luck.

Tony Calvin P/L - Jumps Season 20/21


2020 Flat Season (June 1-November): +20.8

Previous P/L (April 14 2017 to April 1 2020): +303.4

*All recommended Exchange bets are settled at Betfair SP, not at prices available at time of publishing

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