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Race of the Day: Simon Hodgson team can strike in Lingfield feature with Total Commitment

Sky Sports Racing presenter and commentator Anthony Ennis is on hand to tackle Wednesday’s Race of the Day, a competitive sprint handicap from Lingfield.

The Groundwork

The left-handed All-Weather Polytrack for sprint races tends to suit strong finishers and those that challenge wide and late often do well in these events.

Horses ridden for luck down on the inside often encounter traffic problems and it’s difficult to get going again up the short straight if you have your momentum checked at a crucial stage.

It’s a notoriously difficult track to try and make the running over events less than a mile in distance. We have nine runners going to post for our main race of the day which looks like a fascinating sprint puzzle (1.25pm).

The contenders

Mohi

Looked quite promising last autumn winning back-to-back events at Wolverhampton. Has struggled from a higher mark back on turf but could easily bounce back back on the AW off a lay-off.

This is his first appearance since fading late on at Leicester in early June and he now has questions to answer.

Emperor Spirit

Archie Watson’s gelding was sent off favourite for the Silver Cup at Ayr but ran no sort of race that day.

He has won on Polytrack before however and could be a possible for the frame but would need to come back to something like his very best form to collect the main prize.

High Velocity

James Tate’s grey colt has an excellent strike rate on the AW and ran a fair race at Newcastle last time, on the short list as a potential winner but widest draw a concern.

Total Commitment

Simon Hodgson’s gelding has won here in the past and this looks his level these days. Showed that he was running into form with an excellent run in a better race at Kempton last time.

One of the likeliest winners in my book.

Mamillius

The veteran saves his best form for the sea air down at Brighton these days although his last win was here in April.

Maybe overpriced and could sneak a place if on song with Rob Hornby on board.

Tyger Bay

Conrad Allen’s runner finished ahead of Emperor Spirit when third at Kempton last time and he knows how to win around here, looks on a winnable mark too.

Stall one however may force his rider to be positive early which may not prove to be ideal.

Be Prepared

The rank outsider and for good reason, looks horribly out of form and is zero from four on the AW.

Sergeant Tibbs

A Newbury winner at the end of May but hasn’t made the frame in four subsequent starts.

This looks an easier assignment however and he should be competitive against these, although he is zero from seven on the synthetic surfaces, big player nonetheless.

Flying Secret

One of the three 3yos lining up in this but the only maiden in the field. Just one piece of all-weather form to go on at Kempton last time but ran a good race to be second to a fair looking William Haggas-trained horse in the shape of Brewing.

Has to be respected from an excellent stable – a player for sure.

The Verdict

Just the nine contenders but at least four have serious claims. I’ve ended up going with Total Commitment as a win selection. He ran a stormer in the London Sprint series final at Kempton and has winning form at this venue.

Simon Hodgson does well with these sprinters and he would also be the most poignant winner with the sad passing of Peter Hedger this week who will be forever associated with these green and yellow colours.

The race should set up nicely for Total Commitment who has a good draw and useful claimer William Carver on board who can produce him fast, late and wide to get up closer home.

The main threats appear to be Flying Secret, Sergeant Tibbs and High Velocity.

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