The Future Feature - Lingfield on Friday
Friday’s racing will be somewhat overshadowed by the return of the messiah, the greatest jockey since Lester Piggott, the finest horseman in the past 20 years and the man who will shake up the jockeys title next year like the shifting of the tectonic plates. That’s right, Franny Norton returns from a four-day ban to take the ride on Milnagavie in the first at Chepstow.
I jest of course. Well, that said, Milnagavie does have an excellent chance of winning the opener, having made an encouraging debut in a decent Kempton maiden last month, but still, that’s not quite what the headlines will be about come Friday morning.
Of course, it is the monumental, stupendous, fantastic return of the one, the only, Kieren Fallon. It’s been over three years since he saddled up at a British racecourse and all eyes will be on him when he bowls up at Lingfield to ride Rare Malt in the 2.20 for Amy Weaver and on all known form, it’s highly likely that he will get off to a winning start, as the form of Rare Malt’s two runs so far, behind Seta and Dyna Waltz, will take some surpassing.
That said, the feature races of the day are pencilled in later in the card and it’s encouraging to see two high quality Class 3 handicaps on the card at Lingfield for punters to get stuck into.
The first of which comes up at 3.50, a sprint over six furlongs which has attracted twelve runners. Jaconet and STREET POWER will likely dominate the betting, and it’s the latter that really catches the eye on his recent efforts. This horse is a highly progressive animal on the polytrack and he will hopefully be a decent price with the Fallon factor (on Diriculous) and impressive last time out winner Jaconet there to make the market.
Jeremy Gask’s four year old has an exemplary record in polytrack handicaps and won on his only visit here. He absolutely bolted in at Kempton last time out in a very strong time and he will be very hard to beat if he gets the splits and comes down the outside in the notoriously tricky Lingfield straight. At a bigger price, Viking Spirit could go close for each-way players as he runs this track very well. He was a close second to Listed class sprinter Maltese Falcon on his last visit here three years ago and if he can bounce back from a poor run at Windsor last time, he could go close.
The next contest is the 4.50 and a bit of value could be had with NORWEGIAN DANCER each-way. He was just touched off last time out in a very hot handicap at Chester that recorded a mind-blowing speed figure and, despite the blanket finish, is a race that could be worth following. He disappointed at Goodwood when bidding for the hat trick, but that track won’t have played to his strengths, while Lingfield certainly will. The McMahon team are going well and the market could underestimate him. Bab Al Salam is obviously the one to beat, having won a decent handicap at Sandown last time out and with the Boys In Blue having such a good record in handicaps, but he could be a pretty short price.