Today’s best bets, by Chris Cook
Ah, All Weather Finals Day, an event built around the belief that Lingfield’s Polytrack circuit is the right place to identify champions. Well, I have my doubts about that, as Talking Horses habitues will know, but at least we can say that today’s winners will have prevailed despite the track’s justly famous ability to create trouble in running and close finishes every half-hour.
War Glory (1.40) is the one I like in the opener, despite a potentially tricky draw in nine of 14 for this seven-furlong event. Hollie Doyle gets the leg-up for the first time on this Richard Hannon four-year-old and I’m encouraged by her 19% record around this circuit.
War Glory’s sand form reads 2112 so far and he ought to be a bit sharper for the most recent of those 2s, his return to action here on Saturday. He was gelded over the winter and is lightly raced enough for some progress this year to be possible. The 11-2 is fair.
Ryan Moore is a fascinating booking for Cohesion (2.10) in the stayers race, though of course the market has not missed this and they’re 6-1. David Bridgwater bought this one from France to go hurdling but realised pretty quickly that he might have rather better earning potential in this sphere.
He should get the strong gallop he needs and this step up to two miles looks necessary after his staying-on success over half a mile shorter at Wolves last month.
I’m thinking that Mark Johnston might have a good day at Newcastle. His Final (3.25) won on his only previous run around here, last month, and remains one to keep on the right side. Typically for the stable, he showed his wellbeing just three days ago when running on into second at Pontefract over a distance that was on the sharp side for him. He’s 14-1.
Kingsley Klarion (2.55) is more speculative, as he needs to recover his old form, but I’ll take that chance at 20-1 in view of a belated gelding operation since he was last seen in January. He’s been dropped 8lb for his last three defeats and is now below his most recent winning mark from early last year.
War Glory 2.10 Cohesion 2.40 Ashadihan 3.10 Kimberella 3.40 Ennaadd 4.10 Second Thought 4.40 Absolute Blast
Thrifty 2.20 Van Gerwen 2.55 Kingsley Klarion (nb) 3.25 Final (nap) 3.55 Utmost 4.25 Gaelic Tiger 4.55 Poet’s Reward
Esprit De Corps 2.30 Chatoyer 3.00 Midtech Star 3.30 Hushood 4.00 Muthmir 4.30 The Warrior 5.00 Chagatai 5.30 Zac Brown