RACING AHEAD with Tony McCormick

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Racing pundit Tony McCormick from www.irishbigracetrends.com beforetheoff.com and racing radio station racingfm.com presents his weekly column.

Fergal Lynch continued his rehabilitation in good style as he continued his surge towards the top 20 in the Flat Jockeys’ championship when he rode four of the first five winners at Hamilton on Monday.

Tikthebox (11/4), in the opening nursery handicap, was the only one of Lynch’s four winners to start as favourite.

He then steered Raise A Billion (7/1), Celtic Power (10/1) and Hero’s Story (7/2) to victory at accumulated odds of 1,484/1.

In August 2004, Lynch was recorded by City of London Police, which was investigating possible corruption in racing, discussing a ride at Ripon on a horse called Bond City with Miles Rodgers, a gambler and former owner who was later banned from racing for life. The police investigation resulted in a major trial at the Old Bailey which collapsed once the prosecution had finished presenting its case.

Lynch, however, was charged with corruption offences by the BHA on the basis of the evidence gathered, but received only a £50,000 fine as part of a “plea bargain”.

Jockey Robert Thornton has announced his retirement from race-riding with immediate effect.

Thornton fractured vertebrae in a fall at Chepstow in April 2014 and has spent many months of physio in a bid to return to the saddle.

He had hoped to return to the saddle, but ongoing issues with his neck and upper limbs, meant he was left with no choice but to retire.

Irish jockey Paul Carberry will miss most of the season after breaking his leg in a fall at Listowel on Saturday.

The Cambridgeshire is the big handicap on Saturday with Irish Big Race Trends favourite Bronze Angel bidding to make it a hat-trick of wins in the race. The 8/1 market leader had been on the radar for Irish Big Race Trends members for some time in the ‘Plot Spotter’ analysis tool.

Members have a 30-horse stable of handicapped horses that have been running under ‘unsuitable’ condition, before identifying preferred settings. The six-year-old ticked all the boxes at Doncaster’s St Leger Meeting when winning at an early morning price of 12/1.

I’m pleased to hear David O’Meara’s Earth Drummer is in good shape ahead of the big race.

The five-year-old finished third in January at Meydan, reappearing in the Shergar Cup at Ascot, finishing second of 10, beaten a half length.

The Dylan Thomas gelding travelled best of all at York over an extended 1m2f. His three career wins have come between seven and nine furlongs and looks a typical well exposed O’Meara runner, ready for a tilt at a big handicap.

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