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Simon Mapletoft – Weekend Review & Mid-Week Selections

| 30.12.2015

At The Races’ All-Weather expert Simon Mapletoft spotlights the key performers on the sand over the weekend and pinpoints his best midweek bets.

Good opportunity for Archaic

Charlie Appleby’s lightly raced juvenile ARCHAIC can take advantage of what looks a workable mark when he makes his handicap debut in the six-furlong nursery at Lingfield on Wednesday (12.00). Adam Kirby’s mount beat only modest rivals in a Wolverhampton maiden in October but did it well enough to suggest he can overcome a rating of 78 here. The son of Acclamation is well enough drawn in stall five to make his mark against mainly exposed opposition including penalised Chelmsford winner Aguerooo.

Stamp gets my approval

Horse Racing - All Weather Championship Finals Day - Lingfield Park Racecourse

Chris Wall is a patient trainer who looks to have found an ideal opportunity for the lightly campaigned STAMP OF APPROVAL in the Class 6 seven-furlong handicap at Lingfield on Wednesday (1.00). Her handicap debut third over the extended mile at Wolverhampton off the same mark last month looks even better now as the first two home, Tangramm and Lions Charge, have both won their next two starts. The drop back in trip looks a logical move and the assistance of Wall’s favourite go-to man George Baker also adds confidence.

Pactolus has hat-trick in his sights

Stuart Williams is enjoying a real purple patch and can finish the year on a high with the revitalised PACTOLUS in the extended nine-furlong handicap at Wolverhampton on Wednesday evening (7.10). He remains potentially well treated, having escaped a penalty for his win in an apprentice race here when following up at Chelmsford City last time under this week’s pilot Oisin Murphy. He did well to win at the Essex track, considering he was held up off a modest pace, and can complete his hat-trick off just a 3lb higher mark.

Midweek Best Bets:

12.00 Lingfield, Wednesday

1.00 Lingfield, Wednesday

7.10 Wolverhampton, Wednesday

Chookie throws down sprint gauntlet

Wolverhampton Races

CHOOKIE ROYALE, one of the most popular horses on the All-Weather circuit, looks better than ever since switching to sprinting and his dominant victory in a Boxing Day conditions race at Wolverhampton confirms him a legitimate contender for the Sprint crown on Good Friday.

Keith Dalgleish’s flashy chestnut loves to dictate his races and overcame a potentially tricky wide draw to get to the lead before drawing away from Group Three winner Sir Maximilian. Third to Pretend in last season’s Sprint Final, the soon-to-be eight-year-old has already had enough runs to qualify for the valuable showpiece having scored impressively at Kempton, too. However, I expect him to race on and possibly even step back up to seven furlongs for another crack at the Listed Lady Wulfruna Stakes at Wolverhampton in March – a race he has won before.

South African filly shows her class

South African filly COLD AS ICE confirmed herself a strong contender for the Fillies and Mars Final with an authoritative display at Chelmsford City the other day. Now with William Haggas in Newmarket, she dominated a hot conditions event to prove her disappointing fourth in a Fast Track Qualifier at Wolverhampton last time – her first run since January – all wrong.

Her regular partner Bernard Fayd’Herbe told me straight after that race that we would see a different filly next time and his judgement proved to be spot on. She may well re-appear in another qualifier at Chelmsford on 16th January and now that she has justified her lofty rating will set a demanding standard for the Easter showpiece.

Taking her on with be French filly CAOINTIORN, who gained an impressive last-to-first victory in the Fast Track Qualifier at Deauville on Sunday. It was a fitting victory for Stephane Wattel’s runner who was narrowly denied in the race last year by subsequent Good Friday scorer Fresles.

Another classic contender for Appleby

Wolverhampton Races

Charlie Appleby has wasted no time in identifying suitable replacements for his Winter Derby and Coral Easter Classic hero Tryster, who is being aimed at the Dubai World Cup. He unleashed a potential star in Festive Fare at Wolverhampton a few weeks ago and could have another Middle Distance Championship pretender in his grasp with SECOND WAVE.

The son of New Approach clearly relished the step up in trip to the extended nine furlongs when easing to victory under Martin Lane at Dunstall Park on Boxing Day, making light work of a mark of 93. He can expect a hefty rise in the rankings which will put him firmly in the picture for a step up in grade in the Listed Winter Derby Trial in February. Second wave is unexposed at the trip so could be anything at this stage.



Simon Mapletoft

Simon has worked as a racing journalist since 1994 and can be seen regularly on the award-winning Sky Sports’ channel At The Races, presenting live horse racing from the track and the studio.
He is widely regarded as the leading expert on All-Weather racing, spearheading the coverage of the annual All-Weather Championships on At The Races. Simon will be contributing weekly articles on his best picks for the all weather action