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North Yorkshire trainer Geoff Oldroyd planning double strike at Lingfield
BRAWBY trainer Geoff Oldroyd will launch a two-pronged assault on Lingfield this weekend.
He saddles his stable star Ladies Are Forever in the £45,000 Listed Compare Bookmakers At bookmakers.co.uk Cleves Stakes and Alfred Hutchinson in the £45,000 Ladbrokes Handicap.
The Cleves Stakes, a six-furlong race, is a fast-track qualifier for the £150,000 bookmakers.co.uk All-Weather Sprint on Good Friday.
Ladies Are Forever captured last year’s renewal by a length and then set a new five-furlong course record of 56.67 seconds on Polytrack in the Listed Hever Sprint Stakes at Lingfield last March.
She went on to win the Group 3 Summer Stakes over six furlongs at York in July and subsequently finished seventh in two Group 1 contests over five furlongs, the Nunthorpe Stakes and Prix de l’Abbaye.
Oldroyd said: “Ladies Are Forever is definitely going for the Compare Bookmakers At bookmakers.co.uk Cleves Stakes on Saturday.
“Her preparation has gone nicely and I would say she will probably be fit enough to win, but it will sharpen her up as well.
“She has strengthened up for the break and is only five and a half really because she was such a late foal.
“She ran some nice races in those Group 1s last year, not beaten far, and I think she would have been nearer had they been over a bit further.
“She loves the track at Lingfield and still holds the track record over five furlongs.
“The idea is to qualify her for finals day and she will go back to Lingfield in March for another qualifier and you would be hopeful she would be able to win one of them.
“I would be quite hopeful on Saturday, but it depends what turns up. It will be interesting to see if Hoof It runs because he is a full-brother to Ladies Are Forever and I don’t think they have ever clashed.
“Obviously, his owner (Pocklington tyre boss) Reg Bond bred them both and the mare had a full-sister to Ladies Are Forever this week and is off to Frankel next, so it could be a big week for the family.”
As well as Hoof It, trained at Sheriff Hutton by Mick Easterby, Middleham’s Karl Burke has entered recent course and distance scorer Rivellino.
Alfred Hutchinson, meanwhile, enjoyed the biggest success of his career at Lingfield Park when annexing the £45,000 Download The Ladbrokes Handicap on January 24, breaking the seven-furlong Polytrack course record in the process.
The six-year-old is among 20 entries for the £45,000 Ladbrokes Handicap over the same distance on Saturday.
Oldroyd added: “Alfred Hutchinson will also run on Saturday and is in great nick. He obviously loves it around Lingfield, but hopefully he will get a decent draw.
“He won nicely last time and is a horse who is a lot better than you think.
“If he gets too keen, he just plugs on but if you can switch him off in the first furlong, he has a right turn of foot.
“He is a good horse when things drop right.”