Tom Lee's All-Weather Championships Blog & Saturday's Best Bets


As Saturday afternoons go last week's version was unquestionably unusual for yours truly, finding myself interviewing my own sister, trainer Kerry, live on Channel 4 Racing, as the programme's presence at Chepstow on Welsh Grand National day.

The feature race win for her runner Mountainous, who was making history by winning the race for the second time, meant that the post race question and answer session was a departure from the norm, but luckily emotions were kept in check, and for anyone who saw it, yep, we did give the celebrations a bit of welly that night! 

Fair play to her and her staff, they work seriously hard through the winter, and big race success is a welcome reward for a top team.

Congratulations should also go to mud caked jockey Jamie Moore, who settled Mountainous into a great rhythm, and is riding at the top of his game this season. 

Is there a more talented family in racing? His fellow jockey brothers Ryan and Josh surely suggest the answer is no, while father Gary is an ace dual-purpose trainer.  Rumour has it his Mum also whips up a mean Victoria sponge!

This coming Saturday there'll be more staying race drama on Channel 4, with Warwick's 3m 5f Classic Chase the feature event (3.35pm), but for connoisseurs of the Flat, there's also coverage of the all-weather meeting at Chelmsford.

The Essex venue is ideally situated to attract the cream of Newmarket's equine talent, and anyone heading racing on this occasion is unlikely to be disappointed, with some excellent prize money tempting the big battalions to come out and play. 

Arguably the pick of the action is the £30,000 Fillies' Conditions Stakes (2.45pm), a seven furlong contest to be fought out amongst a field of six.

As well as a decent pot on offer, the winner will also bag an automatic slot in the Fillies And Mares' Championships Conditions Stakes at Lingfield Park on Good Friday, March 25th.

Lingfield Races : News Photo

That incentive has helped produce a quality line up for this 'fast track qualifier', including the runner up in said Lingfield Park showpiece last April, James Tate's Lamar. 

Tate, a qualified vet, looked on last spring as his Cape Cross mare found only French raider Fresles too good on Finals day, though runner up prize money of nearly £28,000 doubtless helped soothe the nerves.

Lamar has been expertly handled this winter, winning twice at Lingfield, and also at Wolverhampton.

Now rated 106, hers has been a story of steady improvement, plus she's a perfect one from one at Chelmsford.

She'll be a short price to notch a sixth all-weather win here, but perhaps she's worth taking on this time, with Godolphin's unexposed Shamardal filly My Call the pick.

The four-year-old could easily have gone for a handicap off a mark of 95, but it's fascinating to see trainer Saeed bin Suroor instead raising her sights, on what is just her fourth ever run. 

She's two from three to date, but unbeaten on the all-weather following her victory at Wolverhampton last time out, and threatens to be even better than she has shown up to now as she steps up in trip to seven furlongs.  

Bear in mind My Call's starting prices in three runs have been 13/8, 6/4 and 9/4, favourite every time. 

She might be a bit of value here to upset her better known rival. 

Derby Day : News Photo

Continuing the theme of unexposed Godolphin horses trained by Saeed bin Suroor, Hold Tight can do us a favour by scoring at Lingfield Park (2.20pm), for what hopefully be a quickfire 'cross the card' double.  

Also sent off favourite every time we've seen him in public (only twice), he drops in distance here to six furlongs after fading into second over further last time out.  

Ali Rawlinson's three pound claim could be the clincher.  

Good luck!

 

Saturday's bet bets on the all-weather:

2.20 Lingfield - Unibet.co.uk Daily Enhanced Place Terms Handicap - 2 Hold Tight (win)

2.45 Chelmsford - Toteexacta Fillies' Conditions Stakes - 4 My Call (win)