sport

Burke seeks Rivellino marker

Karl Burke is hoping Rivellino can give a bold show in the Cleves Stakes at Lingfield on Saturday.

The progressive four-year-old is coming into the race on the back of a neck success over Alben Star in a competitive handicap over the same course and distance on February 8. Danny Tudhope, in the saddle that day, takes the ride again.

Prior to that, he was beaten into second by in-form rival Perfect Pasture in a similar contest on January 4, having scored easily by three and a quarter lengths in a Class 3 handicap at Wolverhampton in December.

Burke reported: "The race comes a week or two earlier than I would have liked, but Rivellino is in good order and has a good draw (1).

"We want to make sure he gets in the sprint on Finals Day (April 18) as I don't think he will get in off his current rating (98). There are only one or two handicaps left that he could go for to increase that rating and obviously this race on Saturday.

"I think he is an improving sprinter and, although it's a step up in class, we have always thought he would be up to this level. We are very hopeful that he will run a big race, but he will have to step up on what he has done to win it."

A field of 12 also includes Ladies Are Forever (Geoff Oldroyd/Robert Tart), who finished seventh in the Group One Prix de l'Abbaye on her most recent outing, and Group One Haydock Park Sprint Cup third Hoof It (Mick Easterby/Jamie Spencer).

Tarooq (David Barron/Graham Gibbons) got the better of Hawkeyethenoo (Jim Goldie/Graham Lee), Forest Edge (David Evans/Adam Kirby) and Ballista (Tom Dascombe/Richard Kingscote) in a valuable course and distance handicap on December 18, when the first six home all broke the track record. There is an Irish raider, Rummaging, from Michael Halford's stables near the Curragh.

Karl Burke will also saddle Yeeoow in the 45,000 Ladbrokes Handicap (2.50pm) over seven furlongs. The five-year-old has won two of his six starts on Polytrack and, although he is having his first start since October, has won first time out for the last two years. Jim Crowley takes the ride.

Burke added: "Yeeoow will definitely come on for the run, but he is in great form at home and is working very, very well.

"He always goes well fresh and we think the step up in trip will suit. I would be hopeful of a very big run, but it would probably take a personal best to win it."

A full field of 14 is set to go to post for the Ladbrokes Handicap, including recent course scorers Alfred Hutchinson (Geoff Oldroyd/Robert Tart), George Guru (Michael Attwater/Robert Havlin) and Grey Mirage (Marco Botti/Ryan Moore), plus progressive four-year-old Absolutely So (Andrew Balding/David Probert).

Lingfield Park's seven-race programme, worth 173,500, also features the 45,000 Listed coral.co.uk Winter Derby Trial (3.30pm, 10 runners) over 10 furlongs, a Fast-Track Qualifier for the 200,000 Coral Easter Classic over the same course and distance on All-Weather Championship Finals Day, Good Friday, April 18.

The chief contenders include dual US Grade Two victor Grandeur (Jeremy Noseda/Ryan Moore), Polytrack specialists Anaconda (Tom Dascombe/Richard Kingscote) and Chookie Royale (Keith Dalgleish/Tom Eaves), plus progressive four-year-old filly Modernstone (William Knight/Andrea Atzeni).