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Friday Tips: Jamie Lynch’s selections at Fontwell and Lingfield!

Sky Sports Racing’s Jamie Lynch has five horses worth noting across two meetings on Friday afternoon.

YALLA HABIBI

2.40 Fontwell – AK Bets Maiden Hurdle

Harriet Dickin had a winner on March 30, and her next two came in the first two days of April; nothing newsworthy about that, at least not until I tell you it was March 2023 and April 2024, with 86 runners in between, though as many as 22 of them were placed, bad luck behind the bad run, and bad luck is something that the maiden Yalla Habibi knows all about.

It was a feat just to stay on his feet when a loose horse cannoned into him after the second-last flight at Hereford a month ago, and he worked wonders to not only recover but also rally into the lead on the run-in, beaten just two necks at the line, one belonging to El Granjero who has boosted the form by winning back there by 9 lengths since.

Dickin’s change of luck will hopefully rub off on Yalla Habibi, who has joined the team at maybe the most opportune time, and this Fontwell maiden is well within his means.

PEDRO VALENTINO

3.00 Lingfield – Download The Racing App Now Handicap

The positives are plentiful ahead of Pedro Valentino’s return, his foundation for one, his stable for another, but above all the handicapper looks to have let him in lightly for his handicap debut, off a mark of just 75.

He was needy on his debut at Nottingham but odds-on for his second start at Wolverhampton where he won a shade snugly, and more than how he won it was who he beat, because the runner-up War Bride went one better in January and the third, Inner Temple, has won twice since, latterly off 78.

Gelded since last year, and upped to a trip that should suit (by Phoenix Of Spain), Pedro Valentino is taking the opportunity to contest a 0-75 while he can, when he’s probably a level or two above this grade, based on what he did never mind what he’ll do.

LIVIN ON LUCO

3.45 Fontwell – AK Bets Novices’ Hurdle

Headgear works inside the head and not only over it, which is precisely the reason that first-time blinkers might be the missing link for Livin On Luco, whose concentration prejudices his conversion rate, successful at Chepstow off a break when his adrenaline was up but beaten into second both starts since having traded odds-on in-running, 2-5 at Taunton and 1-20 at Southwell.

Cheekpieces not doing it for him, the sterner stuff of blinkers is the obvious way to go now, and it could make a man of him, at last, in what looks a straight shootout between him and Johnny Jump Up who himself was a bit underwhelming when beaten favourite last time.

SHOCKWAVES

4.05 Lingfield – Trustee Fire & Security Ltd Handicap

When and where this is could be critical to Shockwaves, namely his first start of the year, and at Lingfield, positive portents for him. Under those circumstances as a 3-y-o he was third to Awaal and Thesis, quite the dynamic duo in retrospect, and under those circumstances as a 4-y-o he won a handicap by four lengths.

He made all that day, and there’s every chance the same play will pay dividends here in a paceless race, stall 8 no negative given nothing else will want the lead, or so it looks. Fresh and front-running at Lingfield is a winning formula for Shockwaves, and here we are again.

THE LIEGEMAN

5.15 Lingfield – At The Races App Expert Tips Handicap

Back at Lingfield, where he was so good on his one and only prior visit, The Liegeman might just be able to bully this inferior lot in a 0-68. Stall 1 helps in that regard, as does Hollie Doyle in the saddle, and it’s interesting that the cheekpieces have been left off this time after seeming to inhibit rather than inspire the last twice.

A break of eight weeks might also have helped him re-find his mojo, and this is one of those rare 3-y-o handicaps for the time of the year when nothing appears to be lurking in the shadows.

You’re basically betting that The Liegeman is up for it because, if he is, he’ll take some catching around here.

Sky News
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