Garnett provides dry spot for punters

With the current wet spell causing havoc with the National Hunt fixtures, it could pay to follow Garnett on the all-weather at Lingfield today.

With the current wet spell causing havoc with the National Hunt fixtures, it could pay to follow Garnett on the all-weather at Lingfield today.

Don Cantillon's charge makes plenty of appeal in the River Belle Online Casino Apprentice Handicap after completing a hat-trick at the track in the early part of 2005.

The last two legs of that three-timer came over the same distance as that which he now faces, and went on to win a handicap hurdle at Huntingdon before finding just one rival too good in the same sphere at Wetherby in the middle of May that year. Unfortunately, Garnett's racing career was subsequently put on hold and he was not seen again until returning to action over course and distance just eight days ago.

Clearly influenced by such a long absence, backers failed to jump in and he was returned at odds of 14-1. But he ran much better than his starting price suggested and finished a highly creditable third.

With that run under his belt, and a very experienced apprentice jockey retaining the ride, Garnett is fancied to enhance his already excellent all-weather record.

The River Belle's Cash Back Points Handicap is arguably the most interesting contest of the day and one in which Aajel is fancied to maintain his unbeaten record.

A beautifully-bred colt - being by top-class juvenile miler Aljabr out of a dam who is related to the outstanding family of Nashwan, Unfuwain and Nayef - Aajel is bidding to defy an initial assessment of 85, which was earned by winning a course-and-distance maiden on his debut.

An entry in the Derby confirms the regard in which he is held and with any amount of improvement for that debut experience likely, he is fancied to see off a field which includes another debut winner and Derby entry, Serengeti.

Another unbeaten colt, Halsion Chancer, can extend his winning sequence - this time in the River Belle's Right Royal Bonus Handicap over the minimum trip.

Trainer John Best was comparing the son of Atraf to 102-rated stablemate Hurricane Spirit after Dane O'Neill guided the colt to victory over more experienced rivals in a course-and-distance maiden early last month.

It came as no surprise when he followed up in a three-year-old handicap just over a fortnight later.

Halsion Chancer is 2lb worse off for a neck with runner-up Rocker but is surely open to the most improvement after just two starts, and could take all the beating.

Today's saraband selections

catterick: 2.20 Mr Ex, 2.50 Primus Inter Pares, 3.25 John Forbes, 3.55 Ask Bobby, 4.25 Bright Sparky, 4.55 Blackergreen, 5.25 Turbo Linn.

FONTWELL: 2.10 Maktu, 2.40 Femme D'Avril, 3.10 Song of Vala, 3.45 Stormy Skye, 4.15 Herecomestanley, 4.45 Ouragan Lagrange.

LINGFIELD: 1.30 Daytona, 2.00 Undeterred, 2.30 Ravenna, 3.00 Calloff The Search, 3.35 Over To You Bert, 4.05 Aajel, 4.35 Halsion Chancer, 5.05 Garnett (Nap).

Double: Garnett and Aajel.

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