Another week goes by and it wont be long now until we are welcoming in the turf flat season and what a season we have to look forward to from day one at the end of this month !
However we still have the AW season to finish and last week we had some decent sprints all things considered and we start with the Class 5 5f Handicap at Kempton on Wednesday 23rd February which was won by Desert Strike by 1 1/2 lengths from Six Wives. The winners rating was raised 6lb to 74 and the second 1lb to 73 and of those behind Lord of the Reins in 6th was dropped 1lb to 62, he was drawn 1 and in the past he has won off marks of 73 and 75 here over 5f and his turn mightnt be that far away.
The Class 4 Handicap on the same night run over 6f was won by Ebraam the 8yo who came with a well timed run to win by 3/4 of a length from Jack Rackham and and the consistent Sioux Rising. The winner was raised 4lb to a mark of 88 and the second 1lb to 78, the 3rd and 4th Clear Praise were left on the same marks of 83 and 81 respectively. The latter looked a horse to follow on his previous run here and he may have benefitted from being held up so he may improve again if adopting those tactics next time.
Lingfield on Saturday the 26th served up the best AW racing of the week and the Blue Square Sprint Series Final Handicap over 6f went to Norville who made virtually all in this competitive event. As a result he has been upped 6lb by the handicapper to a mark of 74 and the second Rio Royale who was 1 3/4 lengths behind was raised 1lb to 64 with the 3rd Qadar left on the same mark. The latter did well considering in the past he hasnt usually run 2 good races together and he may be capable of winning again in a lesser race than this. Waabel finished 7th and he can be forgiven this run as he was drawn 10 and for one who likes to be in the front he was always going to find it a struggle from that draw and he remains on the same mark of 79. The race itself was run in a time of 1min 10.54 which was slightly faster than the Listed contest.
Later in the afternoon the aforementioned Listed Cleves Stakes run over 6f was won by David Barron's second string Waveband by a neck from Anne of Kiev with Duff a short head away in 3rd. There was very little in it come the finish and the winner who made all stuck to her task well, as a result she has been raised 6lb to a mark of 96 with the Second going up 2lb to 95. As there was only 3 lengths covering the first 9 home its difficult to glean anything from the race as there was a fine line between winning and losing, however Anne of Kiev continued her improvement.