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Worth a try Tips: 25th Feb

Updated: Feb 25

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Worth a a try Tips (@worthatrytips)

Saturday 25th February 2023

Weekend Preview

There are three Graded races from Kempton, a Listed & Group 3 from Lingfield & two Grade 3's at Fairyhouse on Saturday. As well as plenty of handicaps to get stuck into. There are also the riches of the Saudi Cup, along with a handful of Group race’s where the English raiders look to try leave their mark. I’ll be looking at a handful of races to try bring you a few winners on the day.

Saturday Lingfield 13:30 – BetUK Hever Sprint Stakes, Listed

Lingfield hosts the first of many Class 1's on Saturday and SkyBet are offering your Money Back As Cash if your horse finishes 2nd, 3rd or 4th. That makes it a worthwhile betting proposition.  Alligator Alley comes into the race as the best horse on official ratings but he has a bit to find on Tone The Barone who had him 2½ lengths behind at Wolverhampton two weeks ago. Although Alligator Alley was giving away 7lbs that day and now runs off level weights.  

My selection however is Exalted Angel. Since running back on the All-Weather in November he has yet to run a bad race or finish out of the first three. When he was last seen running over 5f at Newcastle he had both Alligator Alley & Tone The Barone in behind. Exalted Angel had then well held that day but is fitted in a first-time visor on Saturday. Hopefully, that doesn't mean he's too much of a pig to have that form reversed.  Look Out Louis & Arecibo both catch my eye at an each-way price but both may need the run after a few months off.

13:50 Kempton - Adonis Juvenile Hurdler, Grade 2  

This has previously been one to take note of when it comes to the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham, but in recent years that hasn't been the trend. Saturday could tell us where the English runners stand come to the Triumph, so it is well worth a watch even if you're not interested in betting on the race.  Scriptwriter head the field for English and he was unlucky not to win Triumph Trial at Cheltenham when just coming up short of Comfort Zone. There was a lot of talk about the saddle slipping for P. Brennan but to my eye that was just his usual riding style. I'm not his biggest admirer but I do think he is on the best horse in the race I do think he will take the beating if given a better ride than last time.  

Perseus Way is held on form but I am a big fan of the G. Moore-trained horse. He isn't the most straightforward and takes a while to get through the gears. He'll be more suited to Saturday's conditions but he will still have a bit to find on the favourite.  Rare Middleton won at Taunton, but that form doesn't look like anything to be encouraged by and it looks like he will need to improve a fair amount to be in with a chance.  Nurset is the only interesting runner. If he goes and wins that ruins the chances of all the British runners in the Triumph and at the festival in general. He looked like a smart prospect when winning on debut but was underwhelming on his next two starts. Beaten 16½ lengths by Lossiemouth at Leopardstown and then beaten 18½ lengths at Fairyhouse by Blood Destiny.  On that evidence, I can't see him winning and leaving Scriptwriter the one to beat.

14:05 Lingfield - Winter Derby, Group 3

I was looking forward to seeing S & E Crisford's Al Agaila line up for the first time against the big boys in what would have been a big step up in class, but despite having a jockey booking on Wednesday she didn't make the final declarations come Thursday morning.  So, that made it a no-bet race for me. However, this looks like an easier task than last year's renewal for Lord North. He is 13 lbs clear on official ratings and there is no level of Alenquer in Saturday's line-up.  Last year turned out to be what looked like a prep run for Lord North before heading to Meydan for the Group 1 Dubai Turf - which he won. I don't think he's heading out there this year, so you'd like to think connections would have got him as close to 100% for this race.  Tyrrhenian Sea - despite looking like an above-average horse on his earlier runs, has turned out to be rather disappointing in my eyes. He looked like he could be something special but for whatever reason he just hasn't. The two times he's run over 1¼ miles I don't think he's seen out the trip. Unless something has changed over the winter, I can't see him getting home once again.  

It looks like it could be a John & Thady Gosden 1-2-3 with Harrovian & Forest Of Dean filling up the places.  Foxes Tales looks to be a very frustrating horse for punters & connections. He looks to have no end of ability but just doesn't show it consistently. It would be no surprise if he outruns his odds-on Saturday, but it would be no surprise if he ends up down the field. It's all down to what horse wants to show up.

14:05 Riyadh - Neom Turf, Group 3  

We have some great racing from Riyadh this afternoon and I start in the Neom Turf where we have five British-trained runners lining up & all five sit at the top of the betting with Missed The Cut right at the top.  Missed The Cut will be looking to give G. Boughey his first Group success out in Saudi Arabia to go along with Al Dasim's win out in Meydan where he picked up £50,000 for winning a handicap out there.  He'll be taking on John & Thady Gosden's Mostahdaf - a Listed and Group 3 winner on a handful of occasions. However, he doesn't seem to be able to take that next step forward when he steps up in class. He just seems to fall short of anything that could be slightly better than a Group 3 horse & Missed The Cut could well be that.  His form has taken a significant boost when Algiers won two Group 2's by over a cumulative of 12½ lengths between the two races and S & E Crisford's gelding is now favourite for one of the richest races in the world, The Dubai World Cup in March.  

If G. Boughey's colt can repeat that Lingfield form where he beat Algiers despite letting him getting first run and going a few lengths clear and still managing to peg him back to win by a short head, he should be winning on Saturday.  If he wins well on Saturday, it will be interesting what connections do in March. He has an entry in the Dubai Turf which is either a Group 3 or Group 2, but he is also in the betting for The Dubai World Cup. A Group 1 with a lot of riches & he has already beaten the favourite in the current betting. Why not take a crack at one of the richest races in the world if he wins well on Saturday, knowing you've already beaten the favourite?

17:35 Riyadh - The Saudi Cup, Group 1  

I can't pretend I know too much about Saturday's feature race out in Saudi Arabia, but if I remember right, last year Japan was a force to be reckoned with & last years winner Emblem Road looks to retain his $20 million crown.  Like I said, I can't sit here and say I follow all their form heading into Saturday. All I can do is point out which ones I do know and have watched run before and hope they're good enough.  

Bob Baffert has brought over two of his best horses for Saturday's big race which Frankie Dettori booked to ride Country Grammer, while Mike Smith saddles the current favourite Taiba - who happens to be my first selection.  I have watched Taiba run a handful of occasions out in America and I have been very impressed with what I have seen. He has already won three Grade 1's out in America while as a three-year-old - while also placing in two more. He looks to have plenty of scope for improvement as a fourth compared to his stablemate Country Grammer who is now a six-year-old, but proven at this level. He was second in this race last year behind Emblem Road & you can imagine Frankie Dettori will be desperate to go steal the spotlight once again on his final year of racing & there will be no better way than winning a $20 million race.  Another one that could run a big race at a nice price is Vin De Garde.

I have only watched him run once or twice & on those occasions he has run well.  I first watched him run in the 2021 Dubai Turf in Meydan where he was subsequently beat by Lord North & then last year he ran third in the same race - once again finishing behind Lord North but also behind Panthalassa.  Vin De Garde always seems to run a big race when in Dubai and I can only assume Saturday will be no different. Realistically that Dubai Turf form won't be good enough to win The Saudi Cup but he could well out run his double figure odds.  

Saturday's Selections  

13:30 Lingfield Exalted Angel @ 9/2 (SkyBet's Money Back As Cash Offer)  

13:50 Kempton Scriptwriter @ 6/4 - NNB  

14:05 Lingfield Lord North @ 8/11 - NB  

14:05 Riyadh Missed The Cut @ 1/1 - NAP  

17:35 Riyadh Taiba @ 13/8 Vin De Garde @ 33/1


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