Saturday 18 February 2017

4:05 Lingfield Racing Tips (18th February) MAIDEN STAKES (CLASS 5) (3yo+)

A Maiden Stakes over 5f 6y on standard going. 

Ten runners. Nine three-year-olds and one five-year-old. Two debutantes. 

Hurricane Alert has a hefty age penalty and priced 150-1.  

William Knight fields the once-raced Beach Dancer who is a son of Footstepsinthesand, who finished last on debut. Unless seriously backed, best watched.   

Cheap yearling purchase Frank's Legacy cost just 2,500G. 

These horses, noted, with Clean Cut are very unlikely to figure. 

I'll start off by saying that bar a couple of pointers I don't have the greatest opinions. 

However, we will take each horse at a time and discuss.

Peter Crate doesn't have the largest string of horses but Mercers is clearly a horse he has a strong connection being owned, bred and trained by this handler from Newdigate, Surrey. This bay filly finished second last time out over course and distance. He was beaten easily by Berryessa, trained by Rae Guest. That was a restricted race type which could well mean this is a step up in class. This daughter of Piccolo has achieved an official rating of just 62. That is more plating class than full-blown maiden. It is intriguing to think she is favourite which details that the opposition is either limited or has something to prove. I couldn't bet on such a lowly rated horse although would like to see this filly go well for connections.

Jashma is trained by Richard Hughes and hasn't been seen for over two hundred and fifty days.This son of Power was a short price on debut at Windsor [7/2]. He cost 110,000E at the yearling sales.  A slow start didn't help this bay colt on debut and beaten double-figure lengths, second from last. There wasn't much to be gleaned from the collateral form but the betting and price tag suggest he will show more this year. 

Heavenly Cry has a lifetime of experience packed into three years with sixteen races under his belt - yet to win. Trainer Phil McEntree is as determined as his horses. This son of Dick Turpin has gone close to winning, runner-up twice, beaten a short head in October. He has a poor official rating of 60 but been as low as 49. That is terribly limited. Still, he has won over £4,000 in prize money. 

Richard Hannon fields Endeavour who ran eleven days ago. This son of Acclamation cost 100,000G at the yearling sales. His previous last three starts have been at 7f before dropping to the minimum at handicap level. Connections must have been disappointed to find they have a horse with a rating of 64. In many respects, they would be better off going for a handicap. Perhaps 5f will be the making of this horse. 

The two debutantes make some interest. They could be the best of this bunch. However, the betting is key.

Rae Guest is a canny trainer and it might be significant that he starts Midnightly who is a daughter of Acclamation. She was bought by the vendor for 50,000G as a foal. Considering the likely favourite [Mercers] was beaten by Berryessa [trained by Guest] it could be the case they have a line to Peter Crate's charge. Owners Bradmill Ltd had a fair horse many years ago [1992] which Guest trained called Millyant  - who was Group class. The betting is key. If priced 10/1 & less I would give this debutante respectable win and place claims. If weak in the market best watched although it doesn't mean this February foal cannot win.

Sir Mark Prescott is an enigma. His debutantes are either exceptionally good or very in need of the run with long-term plans. Miss Mirabeau is owned by the Exors Of The Late J L C Pearce. This daughter of Oasis Dream was bred by Pearce. This March foal was sent to the sales earlier this month but withdrawn. Not sure if that is a negative. The mare, Miss Corniche, is eighteen and was a talented racehorse when in training with Geoff Wragg. She was runner-up on debut, then winning at Yarmouth second start and the following year their Listed race over 10f attaining an official rating of 100. The betting is key. If priced 13/2 & less SP I would take serious note. If weak in the betting, best watched. 

Conclusion: An in-depth analysis for what looks to be a poor race if you judge the official rating of the likely favourite, Mercers. Many form horses have limited ratings which don't inspire. I couldn't bet Mercers. Heavenly Cry hasn't achieved anywhere near the level to win an average maiden. Perhaps the rest are just poor. If Mercers starts favourite, I would take that as a negative for most. Jashma could be much better than seen. A relatively expensive horse who disappointed at short odds. Not been seen for a hellishly long time. If fancied in the betting, I would take that as a very good sign. Conversely, if weak in the market I wouldn't bet. Quite interested in the debutantes. It may be a sign that Rae Guest follows Mercers with Midnightly. She is a fairly expensive purchase. The stable often go well with debutantes. If priced 10/1 & less SP I'd be tempted to have a small each-way bet. Miss Mirabeau is very much about her starting odds. If priced 13/2 & less SP we could see a talented horse. If weak in the betting likely to need the race.