Lingfield Preview: Duke ready to rule under Baker
Lingfield stage a marathon eight-race card of all-weather and turf action today, and Duke Of Destiny looks the answer to the 1m handicap that closes the card (5.45).
The Ed Walker trained gelding improved for the fitting of cheekpieces to run out the ready 2 1/2 length winner of a mile contest at Yarmouth last August off a mark of 63.
The five-year-old went on to run some solid races in the autumn at this venue on the polytrack surface, finishing a short-head second off a rating of 70 and a good fourth off 75.
The son of Bachelor Duke now gets into this class 5 turf contest off what looks a workable mark of 68, having shaped better than the bare result suggests when ninth of 14 at Newmarket in a class 4 race over 7f last time out.
That was Duke Of Destiny’s second run this season, and he should now be spot on to do himself justice now stepped back up in trip to a mile.
It’s also interesting that connections are fitting Duke Of Destiny with blinkers for the first time, and another plus is that he has the services of George Baker in the saddle who has a 25% strike rate when teaming up with the stable in the past 12 months.
In the 1m 3f handicap that opens proceedings (2.10), Mazij looks decent value to take advantage of a career-low mark.
The Peter Hiatt trained mare was last successful on the all-weather at Wolverhampton back in March 2013 when scoring by a short-head off a rating 60.
The six-year-old went on to finish in the frame twice off higher marks, incluidng when third on the turf at Bath off 62.
The daughter of Haafhd now runs off just 47, 13lbs lower thna when last successful, and that gives Mazij major claims at the weights after shaping as if coming back to form last time out at Southwell.
Softly She Treads gets the visor fitted for the first time in the 1m 1f handicap (4.10) and would have a big shout on the pick of her form if it has the desired effect.
The filly shaped with plenty of promise in two maiden runs as a juvenile, most notably on debut over a mile at Goodwood when keeping on to finish a a four length fourth of 12 to What About Carlo who is now rated 94.
That is decent form, and makes Softly She Treads look potentially well-handicapped off a mark of just 58.
The daughter of Azamour hasn’t been at her best in three starts this season over 1m 2f, but the drop back to 1m 1f and fitting of the headgear may well see Softly She Treads in a far better light in what is a wide open class 6 contest.
2.10: Mazij (NB)
2.40: Holberg Suite
3.10: Sweeping Up
3.40: Roman Riches
4.10: Softly She Treads
4.40: Ski Slope
5.10: Venus Grace
5.45: Duke Of Destiny (NAP)