Can Godolphin’s Unforgotten defy 659-day absence on his handicap debut?
Class 4 handicaps at Lingfield don’t get much stronger than this and it will be fascinating to see how Unforgotten fares on his return from the 659 day hiatus.
Unforgotten had some sly form in inexperienced company a few years ago. He was beaten to second place by just a length and a quarter by group winner Mohaafeth at Lingfield in March 2021 and improved when he next set off in blinkers at Newcastle.
Mohaafeth is now rated 112 and when Unforgotten finished second behind him, Rebel Territory was third again. This rival now has a BHA mark of 93, so Unforgotten could be treated well at just 86 in his handicap debut. But can he return in top form after a sacking?
Stable Gosden hasn’t had many returnees to the track after such a long hiatus, and all four runners, who made their first start in more than 600 days, have been beaten in the past decade. They finished 8527 and that suggests Unforgotten is opposable on this return.
Farasi Lane has strong form on grass and will not be upset when he can reproduce that level in all weather conditions. He’s 1-3 on clay, the win comes in Kempton and this will be his first start after wind surgery. Ward is 1-4 with runners having their first run after surgery this decade.
The final word goes to track specialist Starshiba, who has won three times here, including twice over track and distance, and was quick second at Wolverhampton on Friday.
Race analysis by Graeme Rodway
What you say
Sean Quinn, assistant to John Quinn, coach of Tropez Power
He won the first run and then ran well last time at Southwell in a race that worked out well. I think this race looks quite competitive but it should be if the money on offer is reasonable for the class which it is. He might be a horse for the Spring Mile.
Tom Ward, Farasi Lane manager
He’s obviously been off the track for a while. He should be there at his best, hopefully the wind operation worked. He’s in good form at home, we hope he finishes in the top three or four and runs well.
John Butler, brain trainer
He’s on the road to success. I’d be surprised if he wasn’t back there or around, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t still be competitive. The older horses are all about confidence and he has regained his confidence. He’s won there before and he won pretty well on the last day. It’s a bit more competitive, but I think he has a chance to win again.
Alan King, coach of Gavi Di Gavi
He’s come off his first run of the year and should have a good record although he’s probably a bit high in the handicap.
William Stone, trainer of Dashing Dick
It’s probably a slightly more competitive class than he’s been, which would be my only concern. They are better horses than he has ridden so far and it will be more difficult for him but he is ok.
Reporting by Charlie Huggins
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