Horse Racing: Summer Dancer defies years

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Summer Dancer can belie his advancing years by taking the CMYK Digital Solutions Handicap at Musselburgh.

The nine-year-old gelding has been a grand servant for trainer Paul Midgley, winning seven races in an honourable career, but might not be finished just yet.

His last effort was particularly promising as the son of Fasliyev stayed on stoutly to take third spot in a Thirsk seller. Midgley’s decision to again try him over a mile worked pretty well in North Yorkshire, so it no surprise to see him again campaigned over that trip here.

Summer Dancer is a typical hold-up performer, so fortune often needs to be on his side in races of this nature. And if Lady Luck decides to play ball, he is especially well treated back at a track where he already won three times.

Midgley’s inmate is 8lb lower than when last successful 12 months ago, while the Westow handler’s optimism will be heightened by the prospect of far quicker ground than it was at Thirsk.

It would also be churlish to crib the chances of Clear Spring, who runs in the feature race on Lingfield’s turf course. John Spearing’s five-year-old entire has a respectable win-to-run ratio, and is clearly still progressing.

The son of Chineur has rattled off three victories from his last six starts, including a success in the Great St Wilfrid consolation race at Ripon.

Although he missed out in a good race at Ffos Las a few days later, Clear Spring still shaped well enough in third spot after having encountered no end of scrimmaging a furlong from home.

Spearing’s representative is again on a career-high mark of 94 for the Lingfield Park Owners Group Handicap, but he is blessed with such a tough constitution that having to shoulder top weight might not be that big of an issue. As an added incentive, Clear Spring will probably have to win again to stand any chance of getting into the Ayr Gold Cup.