North Yorkshire neighbours, Mark Johnston and Elaine Burke, aiming to make a flying start to 2013, can make their presence felt at Lingfield today.
The all-conquering Johnston, after yet another cracking year, can score with Staffhoss, while Burke, likewise based at Middleham, has double prospects with Priestley’s Reward and Bay Laurel.
Priestley’s Reward makes a quick reappearance on the course. He won here on New Year’s Eve and contests similar company in the bluesq.com Selling Stakes. Luke Morris again has the mount.
Bay Laurel should appreciate the step back up to seven furlongs in the lingfieldpark.co.uk Handicap.
The three-year-old finished last of four over six furlongs at Kempton three weeks ago, but she had previously scored over today’s seven furlongs at Wolverhampton. She should go well in this five-runner event.
Staffhoss runs in the Blue Square Bet Handicap, the main race on the card, and can take the measure of his three rivals.
A winner on this course two outings ago, he has since gone down fighting at Wolverhampton. He has only had three career starts to date and remains open to improvement. Expect Joe Fanning to try to make all the running on him.
Rangi (1.00), runner-up in his last two starts at Kempton, is fancied to make it third time lucky for John Gosden and Robert Havlin, while recent course-and-distance winners Jacobs Son (3.00) and Calpyso Magic (3.30) also make appeal.
Racing returns to Lingfield tomorrow when Johnston saddles John Lightbody in the Blue Square Bet Handicap.
Joe Fanning’s mount made a winning debut at Sandown as a juvenile, but ran only twice more that season and was absent for the whole of last year.
John Lightbody has been off for a total of 476 days, but lack of fitness is seldom a problem for Johnston’s horses and he remains an interesting and unexposed performer. The mere fact that connections have persevered with him suggests that the best of him may be still to come.
Dancing Freddy is napped to show a clean pair of heels in the Bet At bluesq.com Handicap.
The six-year-old showed his usual lightning speed at Kempton last time over six furlongs, but faded into fourth place late on. This return to the minimum trip should suit Dancing Freddy, who will have the assistance of William Carson.
David Evans has Bussa in good heart and the five-year-old goes for a hat-trick of wins in the Enough Said Just Bet At bluesq.com Apprentice Handicap.
Wins on this course and at Kempton have confirmed Bussa to be in top form. The promising Philip Prince has the mount.
12.30 Priestley’s Reward, 1.00 Rangi, 1.30 Bay Laurel, 2.00 Staffhoss, 2.30 Princess Cammie, 3.00 Jacobs Son, 3.30 Calypso Magic.
Today’s other meetings: Ayr, Kempton and Wolverhampton.
12.50 Dancing Freddy (nap), 1.20 Liberal Lady, 1.50 Petite Georgia, 2.20 John Lightbody, 2.50 Sporting Gold, 3.20 Only Ten Per Cent, 3.50 Bussa.
Tomorrow’s other meetings: Ayr and Wolverhampton.