Former Talksport man Charlie McCann looks at Saturday’s Lingfield card and has a few tips for Sunday. View Selections below
Musselburgh are optimistic of staging their valuable card including the Scottish Triumph Hurdle which can go the way of Creekside (1.45); trained by John Oxx on the flat in Ireland the juvenile made a winning debut over jumps for first-season trainer John Ferguson at Catterick and can follow up in this better class.
Rated 100 on the level in Ireland he appeals more as a prospective Aintree horse than perhaps Cheltenham and this sharp track should be ideal. Excellent conditional Jack Quinlan takes off a valuable 5lbs and Creekside is taken to maintain his unbeaten record.
First-season trainer Ferguson can also land the finale courtesy of Cape Dutch (4.50); the selection was also entered in the opener but Ferguson must believe his 5-y-o remains fairly treated from a mark 3lb higher than when runner up behind Edgardo Sol at Cheltenham. One word of caution the gelding has only run on decent ground and I wouldn’t want the ground to deteriorate significantly from the current description of good to soft.
Ferguson has chances of landing the Scottish Hurdle via Cry Of Freedom especially if he jumps with more authority than he did at Huntingdon last time but, in a wide open event, Koup De Kanon (3.45) can swoop fast and late in a race where there are at least two confirmed front-runners. This ought to suit the selection who didn’t quite get up the hill at Cheltenham last time in a good contest.
Bog Warrior (1.50, Naas) is currently 16/1 with betvictor.com to land the Arkle at next month’s Cheltenham Festival and he can return to winning ways having fell at Leopardstown behind Blackstairmountain who reposes today. The selection has never been beaten under rules when he has completed the course and, prior to the fall, he had looked a natural over fences. If his confidence hasn’t been affected he can uphold his Arkle claims.
In the finale Mozoltov (4.30) is considered one of the better bumper horses in the Willie Mullins yard and an impressive performance would see his odds shorten for the Festival Bumper next month at Cheltenham. One slight concern is that the trainer did have a couple of his string run below par at Thurles earlier in the week.
There is a tremendous card from Leopardstown on Sunday featuring the Hennessy Gold although with Quito De La Roque and Synchronised being ruled out earlier in the week it is not a particularly strong renewal. Having backed Quel Esprit (3.45) for the Gold Cup a couple of weeks ago I can’t desert the Mullins horse now although I expect to see a much-improved show from Bostons Angel with cheek pieces fitted for the yard of Jessica Harrington who are striking form at the right time.
The selection has won a couple of minor events so far this season having failed to complete in his last three starts as a novice. His jumping hasn’t been an issue so far this season, but this represents a huge step up in class which I hope the grey can take in his stride. Ireland needs a realistic Gold Cup contender and the hope is that Quel Esprit can fit that bill.