Wales and West manager Jamie Osborne reveals his riders for week two of the Racing League at Lingfield Park on Thursday, live on Sky Sports Racing.
Although the bragging rights on the opening night in Doncaster last week belonged to Matt Chapman’s London & The South, my own team got off to a very satisfying start with a third place finish.
The 125 points we took put Wales and the West in a healthy position heading into round two at Lingfield Park on Thursday night, live on Sky Sports Racing, and once again we are represented by a full 14-rider squad. and cyclists.
I’m not expecting too much, but I’m confident we can put at least another 100 points on the board with what I would describe as solid, if not exceptional, chances over the seven races.
A big plus for us is having Frankie Dettori in the starting lineup with three good chances. Frankie probably won’t be around as often, so hopefully we can make the most of his prowess on the Polytrack.
He has what could be our best chance to win at Postmark for Milton Harris, who toasts our two runners in the 10 furlongs William Hill Bet Boost Racing League Race Eleven Handicap (6.40).
It’s a rare combination, as the Italian great has only raced twice before for Milton and has yet to make it to the winner’s enclosure. A winner last time for Ralph Beckett, Postmark makes its stable debut alongside Milton’s rebel mission – an All Weather winner who is assisted by Callum Shepherd.
I’m not trying to make excuses early, but the draw gods haven’t been kind to us with some of our other top contenders, including Dave Evans. Alablaq in the first, the William Hill Best Odds Guaranteed Racing League Race Eight Handicap (5.10). Anyone who follows All-Weather racing will know that a wide seven-furlong course at Lingfield is akin to starting in the car park.
However, Alablaq brings good form to the race. He is a former season winner who scored impressively at Newbury last time out, albeit 8lbs lower. He is assisted by the excellent Adam Kirby, who runs this track better than anyone and is third in the jockeys table after week one, but he will have to work some magic in 13th out of 14.
If that’s not bad enough, mine Milltown Star has been posted right next door at 12th. This horse showed me signs of getting back into shape at Goodwood last time and is more than capable of winning his current mark, but my daughter Saffie (Osborne) will have to ride To get lucky. out there
The draw has tempered my enthusiasm again with a solid player in the William Hill Pick Your Places Racing League Race Twelve Handicap (7.10). tregony he won a Racing League series at Newcastle for Saffie last year and has been running well on good handicaps without a win this season.
However, it will be difficult for me or trainer Clive Cox to give worthwhile instructions from a starting position of 12th, which over 10 furlongs is clearly a problem. At least Dave Simcock’s multiple All-Weather winner fox power he is best dealt with at gate eight and could be another live contender for Frankie.
he also rides Pyle Country for William Muir and Chris Grassick in the two miles William Hill Extra Place Races Racing League Handicap Race Fourteen (8.10). She is a half-sister to King George winner Pyledriver, a horse Frankie knows well and one she certainly sticks with.
Harry and Roger Charlton’s gelding Zain Nights he ran quite well in a stronger race at Goodwood last time and looks ready for this step up in the same race. The 13 pounds he gets from the older horses, along with Saffie’s 3-pound claim, could help put us some valuable points on the board.
I have the same coach-jockey combination in the William Hill Build Your Odds Racing League Race Nine Handicap (5.40)another contest of seven furlongs. honky tonk man is a course and distance winner, but Tony Carroll’s Windsor third legend of neptune strengthen our hand with Shergar Cup star Neil Callan donning the red jersey for the first time.
Dave Evans sends our two runners in the seven furlong nursery, the William Hill Play Responsibly Racing League Race Ten Handicap (6.10)headed by the shaped kiss and hug. Although he was penalized for his recent win at Chester, he finished fourth close to Clifford Lee on opening night and seems more likely to put us in the points than the eight-race maiden. Where are they?.
Our fate is once again in the hands of the ace of Abergavenny in the William Hill lengthens your odds Racing League Race Thirteen Handicap (7.40). old Port he’s only 3lbs taller than when he won in the same mile and a half at Newmarket, but we also have the consistent winner of Ian Williams Sophosc in our arsenal.
I raised a few eyebrows last week when I played the first of my two allowed ‘Jokers’ in the opening race when we had the favourite. Gaulwho finished second, and Barley back in room. I’m happy to reveal that I won’t be playing my last remaining card on Thursday. It’s going to be ultra-competitive and, as is often the case at Lingfield, there will be no shortage of bad luck stories.
We’re in a good spot and with five rounds still to go, it’s all about staying in the game, though I’d be happy to wipe the smile off Chappers’ face. To see his team add to their four wins at Doncaster would be absolutely unbearable!
Jamie Osborne was talking to Simon Mapletoft of Sky Sports Racing.