Listen to this article
This is an experimental feature. Give us your feedback. Thank you for your feedback.
What do you think?
Lingfield would seem an odd place to look for Cheltenham Festival clues. It’s best known for all-weather racing, a variant of the sport that it is an acquired taste. But for a course so close to London, Lingfield is a pretty setting and Saturday is one of its biggest days of turf racing.
The Totesport Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase has been transferred from Ascot and for punters looking for a Royal & SunAlliance pointer that is all to the good. Ascot is right-handed and flat. Lingfield, like Cheltenham, is left-handed and undulating. The Listener has been a fancy for the Festival since winning well in a valuable novice event on his seasonal debut at Exeter and can confirm his status near the top of the Royal & Sun market.
On the same card, the winner of Ascot Chase is unlikely to be the winner of the Gold Cup. A winner over 2½ miles here needs speed, to win over 3½ at Cheltenham takes stamina. It is hardly surprising that one of the Gold Cup favourites, Monkerhostin, has given the race a swerve. Fondmort is the horse to back today and those with the Cheltenham showpiece in mind should note the performance of Take the Stand.
Wincanton’s Kingwell Hurdle has been a decent trial for the Champion Hurdle but this is a sub-standard renewal. Last week, Natal was opposed in the frozen-off Totesport Handicap Hurdle at Newbury, but this could be an ideal opportunity for this very good novice to claim a decent prize. Royal Shakespeare, the likely favourite, was lucky at Sandown when Fiepes Shuffle fell at the last with the race in the bag.
■The Investor’s selections:
Lingfield 12.55 –
The Listener (win)
Haydock 1.40 –
What A Native (win)
Wincanton 3.05 –