Horse Racing: Zerzura to recoup any initial losses at Lingfield after gaining in experience

ZERZURA may have let down favourite-backers on his introduction but he can reward those who keep the faith in the Golf And Racing Maiden Stakes at Lingfield.

The son of Oasis Dream is a half-brother to Group-race winner Frenchmans Bay, but has seemingly not been straightforward, having been gelded before seeing a racecourse.

That said, there was clearly plenty expected of him on his course and distance debut and although failing to land a blow, he shaped well enough considering he ran with inexperience throughout. The four-year-old is trained by Henry Cecil and clearly needs to improve a good deal to get his head in front, but that is virtually assured and he will find few better opportunities than this to get off the mark.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Chalice Welcome has shown a likeable attitude, scoring on his last couple of starts and has every chance of completing a hat-trick in the Lingfield Park Sporting Membership Handicap. Three of the seven-year-old's six victories have come at this venue, where he also showed a decent turn of foot to score over this trip on his penultimate start.

Dropped back in distance for his latest outing, he appeared beaten when headed late on but battled back tenaciously to score by a nose. He has only gone up 1lb and for that narrow verdict and is clearly in the form of his life.

Jim Boyle has his string in fantastic form at this early stage of the year and looks set to add to his tally with Tatawor in Kempton's digibet Maiden Stakes.

The three-year-old was well beaten on his first racecourse appearance at Ascot in July but ran a much more promising race when third in a lesser event at Lingfield. He is clearly no world-beater, and appeared to lack a gear when third again over course and distance last time, but he has shown more than enough to suggest he is capable of winning a moderate heat such as this. Bawaardi deserved his recent success at Wolverhampton and is weighted to follow up in the Mix Business With Twilight Racing Handicap.

Officials at Southwell must be applauded for organising an all-bumper card and one of the most interesting runners is Nicky Henderson's Line Freedom, who lines up in the Mares' Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race. The five-year-old won by 22 lengths on her debut at Cheltenham in April.