Historically this would be an unbearably long rest day for racing. Many a year has passed with the annual visit to the Lambourn open day to pat a few jumping stars and watch jockeys race space-hoppers. Recently, Good Friday has sparked a return to the track, hosting the valuable Finals Day which aims to pick out the champions of the All-weather season.
Two races that catch our eye are the Apprentice handicap final, and the Sprint.
The Apprentice race (1340 BST) has a very solid looking favourite in War Glory, but whilst he looks attractive, the one that really catches our eye is Baraweez. At first glance he may look poorly drawn, and may want further – but that’s all factored into the price.
He needs to be dropped in behind anyway, so the draw is not as harmful tactically as it would be for some. Also, there is a chance that they may go very fast here with young jockeys in the spotlight and it could set up for a closer. He looks a big price.
The Sprint is far more closely matched than the odds may suggest. For sure, both Kimberella and Lancelot du Lac look to have solid chances, but none of these have secrets from the handicapper and he rates Gracious John as narrowly the best.
This horse pulls hard and that has undermined his finishing effort over 6f when seeing too much daylight. He looks perfectly berthed here in stall 4 to drop in behind the pace-setting Mythmaker, and granted a clear run he can demonstrate why he is rated so highly by the authorities, if not the bookies.
At double figure prices both, an each way double may appeal to some, and could deliver some hot cross bookies.
Recommendations: Baraweez, (1340 Lingfield), 14/1 generally available, & Gracious John (1510 Lingfield), 14/1 generally available.
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