By Richard Hoiles
A reminder for me this week that one of the great things about British racing is its variety.
By this time next week my travels will have seen me visit Pontefract, Ayr, Uttoxeter, Leicester, Goodwood, Newmarket and Newton Abbot - all courses with their own identities and idiosyncrasies and so much more preferable to calling at the same track day in, day out as can be the case in other jurisdictions.
The strangest was obviously Ayr Gold Cup day on Saturday where, despite racing been cancelled, nearly 3,000 turned up in their finery determined not to lose one of Scotland’s annual days out.
I was not entirely sure whether such a high turn out when there was no live action to witness should be celebrated or showed a worrying lack of interest in the horses themselves as a component of a day at the races.
Hopefully whatever their motivation they, along with the horses, will be back next year.
As a traditionalist, my first tip of Tuesday slightly sticks in my throat.
Connaught Ranger will always be, to me, a fine jumper trained by Fred and then Mercy Rimell who won a Triumph Hurdle and two Ascot hurdles.
The fact these names are allowed to be reused tends to make my blood boil but there is a chance that the modern day Connaught Ranger could get off the mark at Lingfield.
Supporting a horse on their third run can be fraught with danger if handicaps further down the line are the objective, but similarly the odds of reward here seem to reflect that fact.
Connaught Ranger has run two contrasting races to date, showing speed on debut and then keeping on having been ridden with more restraint last time. If he splits the difference he could well outrun his generous odds of 11-1.
This is the time of year when Charlie Longsdon tends to hit form and with his last three runners all having won then fine stable servant Kilfinichen Bay looks overpriced in Warwick’s staying chase.
He has dropped back down to a competitive mark and the prospect of a decent pace also adds to his claims.
Johnny Burke looks to be settling into his new role as stable jockey and riding with increased confidence.
Prince Jai has been edging closer to a victory and could well take advantage of being close to a soft pace to get off the mark.
Runner-up last time at the track over a furlong further he should be able to get over from stall nine and boss the race under one of the better apprentices in the field in Manuel Fernandes.
Several in the field have questions hanging over them in a weak race and after missing over a year Prince Jai has gradually been regaining his form and gain a deserved reward for connections patience. Ian Williams's representativ was 6-1 last night and is no better than 4-1 with Betfair, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power.
A drop in grade and a return to 6f combine to give Gaia Princess a chance to bounce back from a Lingfield defeat last time.
Second at Brighton two starts ago she has generally struggled to build on the promise she showed in maidens, one of which was at Chelmsford over Tuesday's trip.
She should get into a good position from stall two just tracking the pace and has the assistance of champion elect in Silvestre de Sousa and the application of cheek pieces as signals of intent. The 14-1 with BetVictor, Coral and Sky Bet looks more than fair.
Richard Hoiles's Tuesday tips: (Prices correct at 10am)
2.35 Lingfield: Connaught Ranger at a generally available 11-1
3.30 Warwick: Kilfinichen Bay at 6-1 with Coral and Ladbrokes
6.10 Chelmsford: Prince Jai at 4-1 with Betfair, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power
9.10 Chelmsford: Gaia Princess at 14-1 with BetVictor, Coral and Sky Bet