Talking Horses: Bangkok the one to beat in Good Friday racing highlight
The Betway Easter Classic, the feature event on Finals day at Lingfield on Good Friday, has attracted the smallest field in its seven-year history, but an interesting head-to-head is in prospect between Bangkok (4.15) and the Winter Derby winner, Forest Of Dean.
Bangkok was a little out of his depth in the Saudi Cup in February but has disappointed only once in four starts over Friday’s track and trip, when odds-on for the 2020 Winter Derby. He readily chased down Forest Of Dean, who got first run off a steady pace, in the Winter Derby Trial in February and looks rock-solid at around 5-4.
Lingfield 2.00: The best form in the race, albeit on turf rather than Polytrack, is Ranch Hand’s Listed win at Newmarket in September and while an attempt to turn him into a hurdler over the winter went awry, he returned from a break with a win at Chelmsford last month. James Doyle takes the reins and could get his own way in front.
Newcastle 2.15: Broctune Red has been a money-spinner over a mile at this track over the winter but drops back in trip here and could be vulnerable to a seven-furlong specialist such as Tipperary Jack.
Lingfield 2.35: Indie Angel was put away for the winter after qualifying for the Fillies & Mares final in October, but she has run well after a break in the past and should extend John and Thady Gosden’s excellent form. The dependable Fizzy Feet, up to seven furlongs for the first time, can give her most to do.
Newcastle 2.50: Devil’s Angel has improved since finishing third behind Global Warning over track and trip in February, but Chris Dwyer’s gelding is unexposed at sprint trips and is also 5lb better off.
Lingfield 3.10: The sprint is the most open of the finals and Harry’s Bar, the likely favourite, is in the outside box so it might be worth taking a chance with hold-up horse Gulliver at around 14-1. He is only one stall better off but that is factored into the price and he appeared to be coming to the boil when third in a well-run race at Kempton on Saturday.
Newcastle 3.25: Just four runners but all go to post with a chance and Legion Of Honour could be a real danger to likely favourite Megallan. Second in a hot race on his debut last June, Roger Varian’s colt then missed the remainder of the turf campaign before winning in a strong time at this track in November. The extra furlong should suit.
Lingfield 3.45: Diligent Harry lost his unbeaten record last time but showed further improvement all the same and should be poised to pounce on the likely front-runner Mighty Gurkha in the final furlong.
Newcastle 4.00: All four runners make their handicap debut, with Glen Again looking most likely to be setting off on a decent mark.
Lingfield 4.45: Khuzaam was gelded over the winter and looked set for a productive campaign when returning with a cosy win at Chelmsford last month. He finished second in two qualifiers and a repeat of his form in either could well be enough here.