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Horse Racing: Layla's Dancer can bounce back by taking extra furlong in his stride

Layla's Dancer can gain solace following a luckless trip to Wolverhampton when he returns beneath the lights at Dunstall Park.

Tony Carroll's four-year-old travelled sweetly in a mile-and-a-half handicap last month, but continually found the door slammed shut when asked for a winning manoeuvre. In the end he scraped over the line in third place, but that in no way told the full story.

Although Layla's Dancer may not have matched the finishing kick of accomplished scorer Sweet Origin, he would almost certainly have given the runner-up, Jeer, much more to think about. Carroll's valiant stayer loves an all-weather scrap, having yet to finish out of the top three in five starts this term.

Indeed, the extra furlong in the Sponsor A Race By Calling 01902 390000 Handicap heightens the case for the defence, while he surely still has a little scope for manoeuvre off his mark of 73.

Best bet on Lingfield's card could be Vintage, who runs the gauntlet in the Lingfield Park Owners Club Handicap. Although he is 3lb higher than his last winning mark, John Akehurst's sprinter enjoys competing on Polytrack, having struck five times on that surface, including three times in Surrey. His staying-on second at Kempton on his last start in January leaves him handily poised for this assignment.

Now is also not the time to disregard the claims of Newbury hopeful Ace High.

Although the huge seven-year-old was thrust over fences after just three starts, he has hardly been a washout, with two honourable efforts in defeat.

Frankie Anson, meanwhile, can do the business for Micky Hammond in the Oakley Coachbuilders Novices' Handicap Chase.

 
 
 

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