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Lancashire Telegraph racing column
7:00am Friday 21st February 2014 in Sport
Forceful Appeal should appreciate a slight drop in class as he tackles the Ladbrokes Handicap at Lingfield.
Simon Dow’s charge was a winner on his return from a lengthy lay-off at Wolverhampton in January, overcoming a five-month absence to see off Al’s Memory by half a length.
He travelled well that day and looked good value for the margin as he was not hard ridden to get his head in front.
Dow felt suitably confident to up Forceful Appeal a couple of notches but that decision did not really pay dividends as he never really looked like troubling the principals in a competitive class two heat here.
His four-length defeat at the hands of Alfred Hutchinson was hardly a disgrace but he was beaten a long way out and the handicapper clearly felt he may have been punching above his weight as he subsequently dropped him 4lb.
That leaves Forceful Appeal on a mark of 81 for this event and given he has scored in handicap company off 2lb higher, it could be that he is still reasonably well treated for this.
Candy Kitten can finally enjoy her turn in the sun in the 32Red Free £10 Bonus Fillies’ Handicap.
The daughter of Assertive has had to play second fiddle on her two most recent outings, finishing a length behind Dansili Dutch last November before being beaten the same distance by Mr Red Clubs on her return late last month.
She ran right up to her best that day, just failing to find the necessary extra gear in the dying strides - something that could be put down to a little bit of rustiness after a few weeks off.
Candy Kitten is unchanged on a mark of 67 for this race and that looks a thoroughly winnable perch.
Pinotage seemed to appreciate a return to the level at Wolverhampton and comes back to that track for the 32Red Free £10 Bonus Handicap.
Three runs over hurdles yielded little joy but his second place at Dunstall Park seemed to signal a bit of a return to form, even if at a rather lowly level.
The six-year-old has just two career wins to his credit and the last of those came at Lingfield back in 2011.
However, Pinotage triumphed off a mark of 58 that time and given he is 2lb lower here, that concession makes him an attractive proposition.
Megaleka is primed for a course-and-distance double in the bookmakers.co.uk Handicap.
A near four-length win has earned her a 7lb hike but if she can repeat that kind of effort, she should go well again.
A Shade Of Bay sluiced through the Southwell mud to break her duck early last month and is set to go well again in Call Star Sports 08000521321 Mares’ Handicap Hurdle at Exeter.
The six-year-old showed a decent level of ability in bumpers, but her jumping career got off to an inauspicious start as she was pulled up at Uttoxeter.
She fared a little better at Wincanton next time, but it was still something of a surprise to see her win so well at the third time of asking.
Kim Bailey’s charge kicks off life in handicap company off a mark of 115 and with conditions to suit and the step up in trip likely to bring out further improvement, expect A Shade Of Bay to be involved at the business end.
Legacy Gold looks a pretty good thing to rattle off a hat-trick in the Equine Investments 11th Year Still Going Strong Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle.
Successful at Uttoxeter in December, she followed up with a comprehensive verdict over Run Ructions Run at Leicester, prevailing by a comfortable three and three-quarter lengths.
She holds some big entries for Cheltenham and if she is prove up to that kind of level, David Pipe will surely be expecting a win here.
Count Danilo should also be on the mark for the Pond House team in the Bathwick Tyres “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle at Warwick.
While he won what appeared to be a merely average event at Fakenham in December, the second has since come out and won so perhaps there is a little depth to the form.
Count Danilo has been freshened up since that outing and although he is no world-beater, he is smart enough for this.
Mighty Mobb has a decent chance in the Gamble Family Day at Warwick Races Novices’ Handicap Chase.
Philip Hobbs’ seven-year-old did not jump too cleanly at Wetherby last time, but a pleasing second on his chasing bow at Towcester in December suggests he is capable of winning off a mark of 108.
Bennys Mist must also hold stout claims in the Star Sports Budbrooke Chase.
Venetia Williams’ inmate has made breathless progress of late with back-to-back wins at Wincanton in January.
The heavy-ground-loving eight-year-old has gone up another 7lb for this, but he is impossible to rule out of calculations, such is his well-being.
DUNDALK: 5.45 Strategic Heights, 6.15 Captains Dilemma, 6.45 Ask Dad, 7.15 Hellenistic, 7.45 Master Of Time, 8.15 California Rose, 8.45 Cristy’s Call, 9.15 Papa’s Way.
EXETER: 2.20 Liberty One, 2.50 A Shade Of Bay, 3.20 Astigos, 3.50 Legacy Gold, 4.20 Dare To Endeavour, 4.50 Thomas Wild.
LINGFIELD: 1.30 Moonlit Sky, 2.00 Mahadee, 2.30 Devon Drum, 3.00 Assertive Agent, 3.30 Ghost Train, 4.00 FORCEFUL APPEAL (NAP), 4.30 Club House, 5.00 Candy Kitten.
THURLES: 2.15 Lipinski, 2.45 Chute Hall, 3.15 Drive On Locky, 3.45 A Decent Excuse, 4.15 Backinthere, 4.45 See Double You, 5.15 For Freddie.
WARWICK: 2.10 Count Danilo, 2.40 Pagham Belle, 3.10 Mighty Mobb, 3.40 Bennys Mist, 4.10 Raven’s Tower, 4.40 Bally Sands, 5.10 Western Diva.
WOLVERHAMPTON: 5.30 Lord Buffhead, 6.00 Ishetoo, 6.30 Megaleka, 7.00 Pinotage, 7.30 Three Cliffs, 8.00 Cabal, 8.30 Hill Fort.
DOUBLE: Forceful Appeal and A Shade Of Bay.