Plenty Of Spirit At Lingfield
Lightly Raced Four-Year-Old Ready To Come Good
The perceived potential of the Irish Wells gelding ESPRIT DE SOMOZA has so far exceeded his achievements but that might be corrected at Lingfield this afternoon in the Docker Hughes Memorial Handicap Hurdle. The horse has raced just six times and looked to be pretty good when, trained by Nick Williams, he got home quite convincingly from Gumball in a Class 2 at Huntingdon in January. That form would definitely be good enough to take today's event, but his performances then tapered off and he finished down the field in a Cheltenham handicap. A break of six months was followed by a trip to France, where he came home sixth of seven but only beaten a dozen lengths in a £21,000 event. His latest run was in a Class 2 at Cheltenham where, now trained by family member Jane Williams, he was 14 lengths in fifth to Pearl Of The West; again that was a better race than this and he goes off the same mark of 130. Irish Wells has a definite stamina influence on his progeny and today's extra distance over anything Esprit De Somoza has tackled before will be in his favour as will the good to soft ground. Top on regular and second on BTOPlus+ speed figures he has six positives to his name. ECU DE LA NOVERIE looks a danger going off his winning Newbury mark of 130, AR MEST is being backed and OXFORD BLU gets a few ticks but negatives as well. At 9/2 Esprit might prove an each-way bet to nothing.