Friday's horse racing selections: Helm in driving seat at Lingfield
Take The Helm could hold all the aces in the Sun Racing Handicap at Lingfield after a recent impressive return from a lengthy absence.
Brian Meehan’s charge was good enough to win the apprentice event on All-Weather Finals day in the spring and again performed with honour when second at Chelmsford before embarking on a summer break.
Another crack at the Good Friday feature looks an obvious shout for Meehan to make with the six-year-old, so it must have been heartening to see him finish third on his first start for 240 days at Lingfield just under a week ago.
Take The Helm was found out in the finish that day after racing keenly in the early stages, but that run should have put a racing edge on him now.
Redemptive has placed on her two starts so far for David Elsworth but can improve on that in the Ladbrokes Home Of The Odds Boost Handicap.
Third behind Reeth on her first start for the yard, she improved to second behind that rival on her most recent run - although she was on 8lb better terms.
Reeth is not in the mix here, so that is one hurdle fewer for Redemptive off an unchanged mark.
Favori Royal was not a cheap recruit at 240,000 guineas, and he failed to live up to his price tag when a well-beaten fourth on his racecourse bow for Archie Watson.
However, the gelding looked thoroughly green when making that belated three-year-old debut just before Christmas - and the experience should not be wasted on him.
Watson will surely have been working to rectify his tardy start in time for the Betway Novice Stakes, and it would be no surprise if Favori Royal could make a suitable leap forward.
Woverhampton stages a race bearing the same name - over five furlongs rather than six - and Kadiz can get her head in front at last.
Richard Hughes’ charge failed to hit the target in 10 starts as a juvenile last term, but she really did not enjoy too much luck when beaten a length and a half in third on her final start of 2018.
She was a bit keen early, but looked to be producing a decent challenge when checked for room and forced to switch path, costing her valuable momentum.
If she gets a clear run this time, Kadiz should make her mark.
Fusil Raffles is pitched in at a decent level on his British bow as he contests the Weatherbys Chatteris Fen Juvenile Hurdle at Huntingdon.
He will be making his first start for Nicky Henderson, having previously been trained in France by Guillaume Macaire - for whom he won one of his two starts back in July.
You can always count on French recruits to be well conditioned in the jumping department - and if Fusil Raffles is fit for action, he can stake a claim for higher honours in due course.
Well Smitten made a great start for Amy Murphy when winning at the Cambridgeshire venue on Boxing Day and can follow up back over the same two-and-a-half-mile trip in the Weatherbys Racing Bank Chase.
Previously trained by Warren Greatrex, Well Smitten failed to make his mark in either bumper or hurdles company but made a seamless switch to chasing when triumphing by seven lengths a couple of weeks ago.
The seven-year-old looked sure to make further progress from that victory and can capitalise off a relatively low mark.
Eureu Du Boulay is worth a chance in the Sedgefield’s Spray Clad UK Handicap Chase.
Richard Hobson’s charge was a winner at the track on Boxing Day but subsequently came unstuck when beaten four lengths at Catterick on New Year’s Day.
The first two pulled a long way clear that day, and Eureu Du Boulay appears to have plenty of scope to improve again.
DUNDALK: 5.30 Smart Stinger, 6.00 Hasselnott, 6.30 Very Excellent, 7.00 Theobald, 7.30 Marine One, 8.00 Amazing One, 8.30 Burning Lake.
HUNTINGDON: 1.00 Burrows Park, 1.30 Doctor Dex, 2.00 Minmore Present, 2.30 Fusil Raffles, 3.00 Well Smitten, 3.30 Oriental Cross.
LINGFIELD: 1.10 Redemptive, 1.40 Cuttin’ Edge, 2.10 TAKE THE HELM (NAP), 2.40 Deeds Not Words, 3.10 Favori Royal, 3.40 Mercers.
SEDGEFIELD: 1.20 Call The Cops, 1.50 Fiddlers Bow, 2.20 Bold Plan, 2.50 Eureu Du Boulay, 3.20 Inchcolm, 3.50 Cage Of Fear.
WOLVERHAMPTON: 4.10 Cape Greco, 4.45 The Groove, 5.15 Klass Action, 5.45 Warrior Display, 6.15 Flaming Marvel, 6.45 Constituent, 7.15 Kadiz, 7.45 Hollander.