Pinzolo too sharp at Lingfield
A review of the Polytrack action from Lingfield on Saturday, where Pinzolo showed he can still be a force for Ismail Mohammed.
Tom Marquand: Two winners at Lingfield.
Chasing Group One glory may now be a thing of the past for Pinzolo but the six-year-old showed at Lingfield he still retains plenty of ability by winning the Betway Handicap.
Having finished down the field in the 2014 Epsom Derby for Charlie Appleby, the son of Monsun made it three wins from five visits to the Surrey track with a tenacious success in a course-record time.
It was also a noteworthy result for his current trainer Ismail Mohammed, who was claiming a first domestic victory of the year.
The 5/2 favourite dictated matters from the outset of the mile-and-a-half test and pulled out all the stops to defeat Rock Steady by half a length and follow up his Lingfield success last month.
Assistant trainer Mike Marshall said: "He had it a little bit easy last time and it was nice to see him battle like he did there.
"I thought they went a nice, even pace all the way round and I still think there is a little bit more to come.
"He was certainly tried in high-class races in the past and he is hopefully a horse we can have a bit of fun with.
"He is taking his races very well and we had been happy with him since the last run. At the moment, he seems in a good place.
"Sometimes a change of scenery can work the oracle. Getting these last couple of results with him has been a huge plus for Ismail and the team."
Franco's Secret initiated a rare double for trainer Peter Hedger when he came from last to first within a matter of strides to take the opening 32Red Casino Handicap.
Hedger said: "He has got so much ability but he needs things to go right.
"Tom said he was off the bridle five (furlongs) out. He is just starting to get things together. That was him back on last year's form."
Bridge Builder (9/2) provided the pair with further success by winning the concluding Betway-sponsored handicap by a length and a quarter.
Hedger added: "To be honest, this is the one that I thought would win. As long as he gets to the front he has got so much pace.
"The other one (Franco's Secret) you can't trust, but this one does try.
"It would be my first double for a while. Quite a few people had £10 each-way doubles this morning."
A frozen track at Ascot denied Gary Moore the chance of watching Ar Mad in the Clarence House Chase, but the Lower Beeding handler was still able to celebrate a Lingfield winner as Etaad (14/1) lifted the Betway Middle Distance Handicap by a short head.
Moore said: "I was desperately disappointed last time as I thought he would win. I thought he was a good thing last time and I could not believe he got beat.
"The extra two furlongs helped but he is a different horse today."
Mailshot steered clear of the pre-race drama in the 32Red Casino Handicap and made his class count.
With chief market rival Indian Dandy withdrawn after he got loose at the start, the Mark Johnston-trained 4/9 favourite made all of the running to score by two and a half lengths.
Winning jockey Joe Fanning said: "It was a weak race and he was entitled to win it."
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