Sunny all-weather outlook for Circumvent

An exciting week for Flat racing kicks off with the climax of the Polytrack season: the Winter Derby card at Lingfield

While rain would certainly be expedient before Aintree next month, for now the sunshine forecast for Lingfield today can be welcomed as a downpayment on the summer to come. For Flat racing aficionados, this card not only represents the climax of the all-weather calendar – upon which they have subsisted through the winter – but the cue for an immediate shift to top gear.

So Turf racing resumes at Doncaster next Saturday, even as the world's richest meeting is staged in Dubai, and those Ballydoyle horses meanwhile due to work after racing at the Curragh tomorrow include Camelot himself.

Admittedly ante-post punters have already suffered their first blow, with connections of Harbour Watch reconciled to his missing the Qipco 2,000 Guineas after another setback.

His trainer, Richard Hannon, who finally intends to transfer the licence to his son, assistant and namesake this year, was back in hospital this week for precautionary vascular surgery. One way or another, the champion stable could do with a tonic from the Blue Square Winter Derby, and there has been auspicious support for Cai Shen.

This colt won a listed race over this trip first time out last spring, but probably produced his best form dropped to a mile at Royal Ascot and may struggle to conserve fuel from his wide draw. Premio Loco has the highest rating, but was just worried out of this in 2009 after travelling strongly, and a Group Two win over seven furlongs last year confirmed speed as his forte. Junoob must improve again, so the value at bigger odds may instead rest between Myplacelater, starting over for a new stable, and Circumvent (3.25).

Clearly not himself on his last visit, Paul Cole's charge has been freshened up since and had previously relished the switch to this surface – for the first time since his juvenile days – when just failing to collar a Godolphin hotpot in listed company over course and distance.

Blue Jack is tempting at big odds if bouncing back in the Blue Square Hever Sprint, but it is impossible to resist Noble Storm (2.55) now that he makes his belated Polytrack debut. This is one very quick horse when on song – as he patently was not, when last seen at Goodwood last summer – and he is likely to relish the demands of a turning five furlongs.

The Blue Square Spring Cup requires some useful operators in juvenile sprints – Bannock divided Harbour Watch and Caspar Netscher, no less, in the Richmond Stakes during a hectic first campaign – to stretch their speed over a seventh furlong. Though he lost his form horribly after the Coventry, his unlucky fifth there makes it worth giving Gatepost (2.25) the chance to turn over a new leaf.

In the same colours, Kingscroft (4.0) was foiled only in a photo when napped at Wolverhampton a fortnight ago and will be suited by the drop back to a mile, albeit sadly he will not be 16-1 this time.

Those persevering over jumps at Newbury must factor the drying ground into calculations. Kentford Grey Lady was beaten only by Quevega at the Festival but must show that she has absorbed that effort in the EBF Ultima Mares' Final, while Cross The Flags – newly dignified as a half-sister to Synchronised – impressed in very different conditions last time. But Cue To Cue (2.40) gets plenty of weight from both and definitely has more to offer at this trip.

The same card also features a valuable novice chase confined to mares, where Gan On (2.05) can prove value against a couple on a more obvious roll. She goes very well fresh.

Turf Account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Noble Storm(2.55 Lingfield)

Next Best

Cue To Cue (2.40 Newbury)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test