I hope you have all had an enjoyable Christmas holiday and that you are ready once again to do battle with the bookies and or exchanges.
The Class 2 Dry Hill Handicap at Lingfield over 6f on Tuesday see's Jane Chapple Hyam's grey gelding Secret Asset bid to extend his winning run to two (AW Form 2161)
Last time out over this same course and distance he recorded a decent time of 1m 10.88s which is about the fastest we have seen over the course and distance this AW season, he sat off the pace there before coming through smoothly to win going away by 1 3/4 lengths from Sioux Rising.
Piscean(Drawn 9) has shown progressive form on the AW to date winning off marks of 78, 82, 89 and 93 and in the last of those he beat Sutton Veny(10) who now meets him on 4lb better terms for a 1 1/4 length beating but his limitations look to have been exposed, also in that race where Edinburgh Knight(4), Sioux Rising, Secret Asset(5)(winner since) and Cape Vale(winner since).
If we take Sioux Rising as a bench mark for Secret Asset we see that in the "Piscean race" Sioux Rising was receiving 6lb from Secret Asset and finished 1/2 a length in front, but in their next race Sioux Rising was receiving 12lb but on this occasion Secret Asset beat him by 1 3/4 lengths in what was a faster run race. Secret Asset obviously improved on the first of those runs and he may be capable of improving further given another fast run race which he could well get at Lingfield, but whether he has improved enough to beat Piscean is the big question ?
Of the others in the race Arganil(11) had shown progressive form on the AW up to March of this year and won his last race over 5f here off 105 and runs off 96 now but for some reason he has not shown the same sparkle since and something must be niggling him which is preventing him from giving his all.
Love Delta(6) has shown his best form at Southwell and Five Star Junior(1) who is 2-6 here has been off for 92 days so will probably need the run.
In any event I cant see anything else in the race being good enough to beat Secret Asset and Piscean and I expect to see them both dominating the finish, who will be good enough is open to opinion but I feel that Secret Asset may just prevail with George Baker in the saddle as he has a healthy 22% strike rate at this track.
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