5:30 – Lingfield – FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @LINGFIELDPARK HANDICAP (CLASS 5) (3yo+ 0-70) Standard To Slow 1m2f
On the face of his last two runs Shirataki looks to have plenty to do to be competitive this afternoon. However, whereas his last two runs have been on the flat turf he is back on the all weather this afternoon. His turf form is very ordinary with just 1 win and 1 placed effort from 9 runs. His form on the all weather is demonstrably better as he has won 4 times and been placed three times from just 10 runs on the polytrack. In what is a wide open handicap with no single horse standing out, an each way investment on a horse with a 70% win and place strike rate on the surface looks the way to go.
Shirakaki runs over 1 mile 2 furlongs this afternoon and the 4 year old bay gelding has run over the trip just twice in his career and has won on both occasions. His most recent win over the trip was his first and only win on the flat turf and his other win came over course and distance last December. The going at Lingfield is Standard to Slow as the newly laid surface beds in and although all of his polytrack runs have been in Standard going his turf win came on Soft ground. Although this is a somewhat tentative link, the point is that the slightly slower surface should not inconvenience him especially given that he has winning all weather form over 1 mile 3 and 1 mile 4 furlongs.
Peter Hiatt who trains Shirataki has clearly planned a winter all weather campaign as he has been off since July. He should be fit to run today as he won first time out after a break of six weeks back in June.
After being ridden by three different riders on his last three starts, Shirataki is reunited with Chris Catlin again today. This is of interest as Chris has ridden him 11 times, winning four times and being placed three times with all of his win and placed efforts coming from 10 rides on the all weather.
As mentioned earlier this is a wide open race with no outstanding form to go on. With such a good win and place strike rate on the surface and with Chris Catlin back in the plate, Shirataki’s chances do look rather compelling at a current price of 16/1. With Shirataki has gone well fresh in the past and the fact that he has clearly been held back for a winter all weather campaign, even if today’s race is just a sighter he must have a good chance of running into a place at the very least.