As we approach the forthcoming Flat Turf season I generally become very more selective with my races on the All Weather. On a personal level I have found winners more difficult to come by at this stage of the season as many of the good All Weather races have already been run with those winners saved for finals day, that combined with the fact the many trainers use these late season All Weather races as merely warm up races for future Turf engagements. The only race that interests me today is the first race at Lingfield.
2:10 Lingfield (AW)
1m (1m1y) Ladbrokes Home Of The Odds Boost Handicap (Class 5) (3yo 0-75
Without doubt the most interesting runner is the well-bred Azets, by Dubawi out of a four times Listed Race (including over this CD) 107 Rated winning mare. Azets cost connections 300,000 Guineas as a yearling and was last seen 13 days ago when making eye-catching late progress on his AW debut at Kempton. Personally I have my doubts as to the strength of that form and if he was not just staying on past moderate beaten horses. There is no doubt he is bred to be useful and should really take all of the beating on Handicap debut in what looks a very moderate race, I am also sure that connections will be extremely disappointed if he is not better than a Rating of 69 but the fact that the Dam as only produced 1 winner coupled with Dubawi’s unprofitable record on polytrack I am happy to let him win at current odds. The one I like is the Hugo Palmer colt On The Line. Admittedly he is still a Maiden after 6 runs and cost current connections a fraction of Azets fee but I do have a few reasons to think he may go close today. This is his third run of the season and after wind surgery, he appears to be taking a step forward since and improved last time in the first time blinkers, the trainers runners generally operate at a 16.22% strike rate in the second time headgear. His last two runs appear to have been fitness runs, dropped back to 6 furlongs and then stepped back up to 7 furlongs last time out. He went close over this trip at Chelmsford when finishing third as a Juvenile in what looked a decent Novice Stakes with the first and second running with credit in Group Company since. James Doyle was riding him that day and gets back in the saddle for the first time since. The Jockey and Trainer have a decent strike rate together especially on the AW where they have operated at a profitable 34.33% strike rate in the last two seasons, that strike rate increases when narrowed down to three-year olds at which they have been operating at a very encouraging 41.38/65.52%. I am not sure where connections will go if he can not go close at this level but at 7/1 I personally believe he is worth chancing especially for me in the place market.