Calling Lingfield: Simcock's runner aiming to go one better than a year ago
Calling Out attempts to go one better than a year ago in the second running of the Betway Conditions Stakes (3.50), the feature on the seven-race card at Lingfield.
Although the mile and a half contest is now down to just four runners, it's still a fascinating race with the presence of the penalised Ed Dunlop runner Red Verdon topping the weights.
Seven-year-old Calling Out has run well again in defeat since chasing home the useful Watersmeet a year ago and was not beaten far when third behind Ay Ay over an inadequate ten furlongs last time.
Trainer David Simcock said: "It's a small field but he ran very well last time and he's a consistent sort who loves the synthetics. The race will all revolve around Red Verdon, I'd imagine, and it may well be tactical."
Red Verdon is the only penalised runner in the line-up, picking up a 3lb penalty for his win in a Listed contest at Kempton last time.
Although he has had three months off since then, the five-year-old has been keeping in trim on the all-weather surfaces around Newmarket of late and won't lack for fitness.
Dunlop said: "He seems to like the all-weather and is straight enough for his return, but the 3lb penalty doesn't help. Hopefully they go a good pace."
Mick Quinn is hoping his runner Great Hall can make up into a contender for the marathon final on All-Weather Championships day at the track next month and has his stable star pretty fit following his winter break.
The eight-year-old enjoyed a most productive 2017, racking up a hat-trick of wins at Ascot (twice) and Yarmouth before finishing a decent sixth in the Group 3 Cumberland Lodge Stakes in October.
Despite his advancing years, Great Hall has plenty of improvement to come according to his trainer, who is targeting a fast-track qualifier at Chelmsford next month with his stalwart.
He said: "Great Hall had a great year in 2017, but he finished the year with a slight muscle strain. We've freshened him up since and he's been back in work for the past eight weeks or so.
"The plan is to give him a run here to blow the cobwebs off before heading to Chelmsford. He's grown in confidence since we've had him and he doesn't sweat like he used to. Hopefully he could make finals day."
The field is completed by Celestial Path, who has his first run on the Flat for David Pipe following five unsuccessful outings over hurdles last year. The five-year-old has since had a wind operation.
Murphy ready for take off again
Oisin Murphy is in action at Lingfield before jetting off from Heathrow at 10am for his latest stint at the Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan on Thursday.
The pick of his mounts at the Surrey track looks to be Poetic Imagination in the 32Red Handicap (3.20).
Read exclusive previews from 6pm tonight on racingpost.com