ITV Racing tips: Legion Of Honour out to justify Classic entry on bumper Good Friday schedule
An Easter holiday bonus arrives for racing fans with the screening of the Good Friday action, a bumper ten races from Lingfield and Newcastle as the All-Weather campaign comes to a climax.
Bank Holiday racing in Britain has become largely drab fare, but not these fixtures which were introduced to the schedule in 2014.
Lingfield hosts the eighth edition of the All-Weather Championships, a series of six races which are broken down into individual championship events, on a card offering £500,000 in prize-money.
It all unfolds from 13:45pm on ITV4 and we have previewed the three most significant races of the day in our ITV Racing tips.
Official ratings suggest Indie Angel has a significant edge in this Listed 7f prize on the strength of a last time out victory in the Ladbrokes EBF Fleur De Lys Stakes at the track.
She has 4lb in hand of the next highest rated horse Fizzy Feet, who is trying the trip for the first, and 8lb or more over the rest of the field.
Indie Angel won comfortably in November, but she also had the run of the race given that the runner-up Lavender’s Blue got stuck behind a wall of horses from which she could not be extricated until it was too late.
The James Tate-trained Shimmering Dawn should appreciate the return to her own sex, having not figured in the Lady Wulfruna Stakes last time.
She has won two of her three starts in female only races this year over this trip and while Indie Angel will probably be the one to beat, Shimmering Dawn could be a better value alternative.
Yet another intriguing clash featuring a mix of proven and promising three-year-olds, two of which are entered in the 2,000 Guineas.
Magellan, from the family of Golden Horn, is the standout, and represents a stable, John and Thady Gosden, which has a 33 per cent strike rate on this track.
Magellan has already run six times and was deemed good enough to contest the G1 Vertem Futurity in October, in which he finished seventh. He just failed to catch Apollo One when beaten a neck over 7f at Lingfield recently.
But he may have his work cut out again against the Roger Varian-trained Legion Of Honour, also entered in the 2,000 Guineas, who posted a good time when getting off the mark at the track in November.
Apollo One and Mighty Gurkha carry the strongest form into what looks to be an open renewal of this feature prize for three-year-olds.
Apollo One won his first stakes race when holding on by a short head to win the Ladbrokes-sponsored Spring Cup over 7f and last season ran third in the Solario Stakes, won by Classic aspirant Etonian.
Mighty Gurkha comes here off the back of a victory in a Fast-Track qualifier at Kempton in January, having run at last year’s Breeders’ Cup.
Yazaman has four lengths to find with Apollo One on his Spring Cup run, his first outing since a break, and a return to a faster run 6f could help him bridge the gap.
Last year’s Windsor Castle runner-up took in all the big meetings last year, finishing second in the July and Richmond Stakes, without being able to add to his first time out win. Now a gelding he is not one to write off yet.
ITV Racing Schedule, Friday 2nd April
14:00 Lingfield – All-Weather Marathon
14:15 Newcastle – Handicap
14:35 Lingfield – Ladbrokes All-Weather Fillies’ And Mares’
14:50 Newcastle – Handicap
15:10 Lingfield – All-Weather Sprint
15:25 Newcastle – Ladbrokes Burradon Stakes
15:45 Lingfield – Ladbrokes 3 Year Old All-Weather
16:00 Newcastle – Ladbrokes Play 1-2-Free on Football Handicap
16:15 Lingfield – Easter Classic
16:45 Lingfield – All-Weather Mile
All odds and markets are correct as of the date of publishing.