Skip to content
Join
There is a plethora of top-class racing action this weekend
  1. Horse Racing

Weekend Racing Preview: Lingfield holding keys to cold weekend

The racing weekend already has a much-changed outlook after Ascot's Clarence House Chase card fell victim to freezing conditions – but there's still action aplenty to look forward to.

The Lingfield Winter Million Festival will go ahead on Saturday with their all-weather card, while Sunday's action at Thurles features a pair of Grade 2 contests and is under no threat from the weather according to officials at the Irish venue.

However, the remaining British jumps meetings over the coming 48 hours are subject to change.

Watch all the UK and Irish racing action via the bet365 Sports Live Streaming service as we look ahead to the weekend action.

The Winter Million meeting at Lingfield was intended to be two days of National Hunt action either side of Saturday's all-weather card but that was thwarted by the cold weather as plans to race on Friday were abandoned in midweek.

Sunday remains in the balance, but Saturday's card is in the clear and will be headlined by the Winter Oaks Fillies' Handicap (2.47), where a top prize in excess of £50k is on offer.

A field of eight are set to contest the mile-and-a-quarter race and it's the Simon & Ed Crisford-trained Al Agaila that catches the eye at 11/10.

The daughter of Lope De Vega has won both starts since returning from a break in early December. Those wins came over a mile at Kempton and then here over C&D just before Christmas when she dismissed nine rivals with contemptuous ease in a trial for this race.

They included the re-opposing Makinmedoit (second), while top-weight Purple Ribbon (11/2) and stablemate Tequilamockingbird (16/1) both expected to be key players for Charlie Fellowes.

However, Al Agaila could be well ahead of her mark and given the ease of that previous success here, she's the one they are all aiming at.

Officials at Haydock posted a positive Friday morning update, postponing plans for a midday inspection, and instead opting for a precautionary check on Saturday morning, with conditions at the Merseyside venue raceable as things stand.

They are set to kick off with Grade 2 action in the Patrick Coyne Memorial Altcar Novices' Chase (12.20), which looks set to be a duel between Stage Star for in-form champion trainer Paul Nicholls and the Dan Skelton-trained Lac De Constance.

Cheltenham Festival clues may be on offer in the Rossington Main Novices' Hurdle (1.30) – a recognised trial for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle – where Skelton's Pembroke at 6/4 and the unbeaten Olly Murphy runner Chasing Fire at 11/4 are amongst the leading contenders.

Further graded action comes via The New One Hurdle (2.05), a contest close to the heart of trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies and one he'll aim to land with 11/4 shot I Like To Move It, winner of the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham in November.

Standing in their pathway, however, is the mare Epatante at 4/7 for Nicky Henderson and Aidan Coleman. She's twice finished second to stablemate Constitution Hill in Grade 1s this season and will be relieved to leave him at home on her latest visit to the races.

Twiston-Davies also sends out Haydock legend Bristol De Mai in the Peter Marsh Handicap Chase (2.40), where he is 11/4 to continue his love affair with the Merseyside course. Testing conditions will be right up his street, but can he handle up-and-comer Fontaine Collonges for Venetia Williams, a 5/2 chance, having won here in November?

Empire Steel for Sandy Thomson, Ben Clarke's Dr Kananga, Cooper's Cross for Stuart Coltherd and Dan Skelton's teenager Blaklion complete the line-up in the Peter Marsh.

Related Horse Racing News

WATCH: Upping The Ante: Home where the heart is in Stayers' Hurdle

Horse Racing betting tips: Robbie Wilders' Dubai Carnival tips

There are no concerns for Thurles's jumps card on Sunday. The track's manager Kate Molony said on Thursday: "I was there this morning and the ground was perfectly fine. It's yielding to soft and temperatures look set to rise over the weekend so we wouldn't imagine we'll have any trouble."

They get underway with the Grade 2 Coolmore N.H. Sires Mogul Irish EBF Mares Novice Chase (1.10) over two-and-a-half-miles and the headline act is Allegorie De Vassy for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend.

She won as she pleased on chasing bow at Limerick over Christmas in this grade and carries a penalty for that smooth score now. Allegorie De Vassy is 15/8 to win the Mares' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival on 17th March and will be aiming to stamp her passport with victory here.

Just 30 minutes later and the second offering of Grade 2 action comes via the Horse & Jockey Hotel Chase (1.40), again over two-and-a-half-miles, which has attracted a stellar field of six.

Fakir D'oudairies is the proven horse at the trip, Joseph O'Brien's charge a dual winner of the Melling Chase at Aintree and having chased home Gold Cup favourite Galopin Des Champs in the John Durkan at Punchestown in last month's comeback.

Chacun Pour Soi adds plenty of intrigue as Willie Mullins explores a new trip with him. He's always been a star around Leopardstown but can he produce a considerable effort tackling this trip for the first time on his first stop at Thurles? Victory here could see him taking aim at the Ryanair Chase, where he is currently rated a 20/1 chance come March.

If they get the all-clear at Lingfield, it's a marathon nine-race card beginning at midday on Sunday.

They boast the Fleur De Lys Chase (2.00), where Brave Seasca and Stolen Silver for Venetia Williams and Sam Thomas, respectively, are contenders, as well as the Sovereign Handicap Hurdle (2.30), where Harry Fry's Might I is set to carry top-weight off a mark of 142. He could advertise Cheltenham claims and is currently 20/1 in the market for the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle – a race pilot Lorcan Murtagh would love to see him aimed at.

Later, Gary Moore's popular Goshen – second in the Grade 1 Long Walk at Kempton on Boxing Day on his first crack at three-miles – drops in distance and grade for the Weatherbys Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide Hurdle (3.30), where he looks to hold a class-edge on his six rivals.

Related Articles

bet365 uses cookies

We use cookies to deliver a better and more personalised service. For more information, see our Cookie Policy