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Smooth Noble has Lingfield claims
12:00am Saturday 2nd February 2013 in Sport
Noble Silk narrowly lost out in a three-way finish last time out but his consistency should be rewarded at Lingfield.
The four-year-old should relish the step back up in trip for the 12-furlong Lingfield Park Owners Group Handicap after going down by half a length in a thoroughly competitive Kempton heat.
Racing off a 2lb higher mark after a previous win at the track, Noble Silk was just edged out in the dying strides by two faster-finishing rivals over a furlong less.
First-time cheekpieces had appeared to work the oracle on his previous start, when he was a half-length victor over Wildomar, a horse who had beaten him before and is a consistent runner himself.
The handicapper has left Noble Silk alone following his recent defeat and he is worth another chance here.
Grey Mirage was another who took to first-time cheekpieces when tasting victory at this track at the end of December.
He was twice a winner in the early part of 2012 but seemed to lose his way after that and was given a lengthy break until returning in November.
While Grey Mirage turned in indifferent efforts on his first couple of outings, a shrewd front-running ride from Jimmy Quinn saw him notch a half-length win and that should do wonders for his confidence.
A 2lb leap back up the weights is not ideal but Grey Mirage should hold his own in the lingfieldpark.co.uk Handicap.
Things did not pan out in favour of Loyal Royal on his most recent start so Milton Bradley's veteran will be seeking a change of luck in the second division of the Blue Square Bet Sprint Series Round 5 Handicap.
There was not enough pace for his liking when fifth last time out and he was further disadvantaged by having to challenge widest of all in the finish.
He still ran a respectable race though and while he has not won since April 2011, he is rated some way below his highest mark of 69.