Nothing fake about Pretend

Godolphin's Pretend a worthy favourite for the Sprint


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Betting Tip: @ 11/8 with williamhill

Good Friday’s All-Weather Championships at Lingfield could turn into a benefit meeting for trainer Charlie Appleby, such is the strength of his battalions.

The Godolphin trainer has dominated the all-weather this winter, as is shown by his strike rate of 38%, and, of the 64 runners he’s sent to Lingfield since November 1, 26 have won for a £1 level-stakes profit of £14.63. That’s hardly an earth-shattering amount and it tells us that a lot of his winners were returned at short odds. Nonetheless, we should be wary of taking on anything he runs here and he is set to saddle four of the seven favourites at the meeting.

That includes TRYSTER in the Easter Classic (3.45pm) and now that Battalion, my each-way fancy against him, has been withdrawn I see no reason to take him on, although he’s no bet for me at odds-on. It’s quite possible he’s he best horse to have ever raced on the all-weather on Britain judged on his impressive victory in last month’s Winter Derby and, while the runner-up Grendisar might finish a little closer if he is played later, the result should be the same.

Appleby’s PRETEND is another short-priced favourite in the Sprint (2.10pm) and he too looks banker material having been handed an inside draw in stall two. The four-year-old has looked sensational since being switched to sprint trips (4-5 over 6f or shorter), overcoming a poor draw at Wolverhampton to defeat 12 rivals two starts back before taking the step up to Listed company over 5f here 20 days ago. He’s got as potent turn of foot as I’ve seen and providing he can avoid trouble in running – there’s always an element of luck involved in races here – he can show his rivals a clean pair of hooves. The best of these may be Rivellino and he’s the one for forecast backers.

Betting Tip: @ 11/8 with williamhill

All odds were correct at time of posting.

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