We can look forward to ITV Racing on Saturday and Kevin Blake is excited about a few runners in Lingfield and Ascot …
“Its medium draw gives its rider more options than most, and it wouldn’t be surprising if it could run well at a high price.”
The weather should be an important consideration, if you look forward to the race this weekend, as a large, dirty, miserable gang of rain is currently gathering in the Atlantic and will deposit its considerable content on Ireland and Great Britain in the next 24 hours or later.
As many of the Tracks are already on the soft side of good, we can assume that the bottom at Ascot and Lingfield, which will be the focus of ITV’s attention on Saturday, is rather soft at best.
The Chartwell Fillies stakes at Lingfield (3:25 pm) bring together an interesting group of fillies, and the one I like is Bounce The Blues, trained by Andrew Balding.
The daughter of Excelebration won quickly a listed race in Naas when she was coached by Johnny Feane last year and was sold soon after to join her current connections. While she hasn’t won for her in three starts, she has improved her form and shown promising results. Crucially, this is probably Bounce The Blue’s first chance to run on rain-soft ground since he came to Balding. She lifts her knees pretty high and shows her best form for Johnny Feane on soft ground, so changing the surface could well help achieve a career-best performance.
That drop to seven furlongs isn’t a problem, and that Race towards the near side rail, which is likely to be preferred that day, should be well prepared for them to race. She seems to have an excellent chance.
The big race of the weekend is the Victoria Cup at Ascot (3:40 pm) and I’m going to swing by one for a wild price with the Archie Watson trained stone soldier. < The four-year-old has seen notable improvement since joining Watson late last year, winning three of his five starts, all of which were won at Southwell. On those appearances, his all-weather mark rose from 80 to 100, but the handicapper gave him a chance on the turf by splitting his grades and allowing him to run off with a seven-year handicap of 91 last time at Musselburgh. The soil was good on this occasion and he never seemed to like it, so it was no surprise he didn't take the opportunity.
The return to this softer soil will be in its favor, however, and it could well be crucial. Of course, the abundance of time could show that he’s just a better horse on the fiber sands in Southwell than anywhere else, but it’s well worth giving a chance on this softer lawn for the price he has.
His Medium Draw gives its rider more options than most and it wouldn’t be surprising if they did well at a hefty price tag.
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Back Bounce The Blues at 15:25 Lingfield only wins at 3.7511 / 4Back Stone Soldier Each-Way, 6 places, at 15:40 Ascot at 26.025 / 1
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