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2.50 Lingfield – Ballista
Tom Dascombe always has to be respected with his runners on the all-weather, and his high class 8 year old sprinter looks to offer some value at odds of 5/1 6.00 +500 5.00 5.00 -0.20 in the 6 furlong, Class 3 handicap at Lingfield. The son of Majestic Missile may be a little longer in the tooth than the majority of his rivals, but he is a course and distance winner who was once rated much higher than his current mark of 88, and he has been in good form recently.
Tom Dascombe does especially well with his all-weather runners who are off the track for 1-4 weeks. He also typically does well in the Winter all-weather season, and it appears that he has again targeted Ballista for a campaign on the artificial surface. After running some fair races this time last year, Ballista didn’t race for the whole of the turf season, and returned at a big price for his comeback run 20 days ago at Wolverhampton. Certainly didn’t disgrace that day, finishing a close up 6th, beaten less than 2 lengths. That run suggested that his ability remains, and it should have blown away any cobwebs that may have been present.
Ballista’s running style is fairly simple – point and shoot. He goes hard from the front and tries to hang on. Is likely to have a battle on his hands with favourite Seychelloise also liking to make the running, but for as consistent as Sir Mark Prescott’s filly is, she has had a number of runs recently.
7.10 Chelmsford – Be Royale
Be Royale is a horse who has shown a clear preference for the all-weather surface over the grass, and with a number of solid recent efforts, he rates a worthy favourite at odds of 3/1 4.00 +300 3.00 3.00 -0.33 .
Michael Appleby’s 6 year old mare has amassed an all-weather record of 4/19 with a further 6 places. Compared to 1/14 with just 3 places, it is clear he likes the artificial surface. Went off a strong favourite last time out at Kempton and led late in the race only to get mown down by the winner, who was ultimately impressive. That form looks very solid.
This race is weak and the second favourite is the David C Griffiths trained Mambo Fever. The horse clearly must be showing something at home as she has gone off favourite for 6 of her last 7 starts, but has failed to score in those runs. Connections reach for the first time hood and it would come as no surprise were she to be well backed again, but given past performances, she isn’t the value.
Tips Summary (7th January)