Expensive Problem proves his worth

Expensive Problem is proving to be the complete opposite to Jack Smith as he continued his invaluable contribution to the Epsom trainer's small stable by landing division one of the totetrifecta Handicap at Lingfield today.

Expensive Problem is proving to be the complete opposite to Jack Smith as he continued his invaluable contribution to the Epsom trainer's small stable by landing division one of the totetrifecta Handicap at Lingfield today.

Smith brought the gelding with him when returning from a stint at Mijas in Spain last summer and as a well-backed 10-1 shot he was delivered with trademark patience and timing by George Baker.

"I came back about a year ago and this horse was my first winner and first runner," said Smith.

"He was also my last winner in January. He's had a tough old winter but this was his grade.

"Things are just picking up now. We have a lovely spot in Epsom and about 12 horses on the go."

Rather better stocked with quality thoroughbreds is owner Alan Spence, whose Hot Prospect and Eradicate will respectively contest the totesport.com Derby Trial and the Swinton Hurdle on Saturday.

Two runners in the red white and blue silks obliged, headed by Cansili Star.

Trained by Michael Jarvis, he finished second to Gimcrack winner Showcasing on his debut at Yarmouth, but was unable to break his duck in four subsequent outings.

Division Two of the Derby Trial Here Tomorrow Maiden Stakes appeared ideal and with a particularly evident bias towards the stands rail, there was nowhere else the ever-shrewd Philip Robinson wanted to be as he steered the even-money favourite clear by three lengths.

Spence was away in Hong Kong, but his son Michael said: "We've got five runners tomorrow and that was great.

"He was a bit unlucky last year but he has been gelded and has improved."

Robinson moved to six wins from his last eight rides as he did the business on Spence's Life And Soul (100-30) in the lingfieldpark.co.uk Classified Stakes.

This was the first time the Lingfield grass has been used this season and jockeys were keen to head right for the fence each time.

Godolphin's Mutafajer (6-5 favourite) had a similar profile to Cansili Star and collected division one of the maiden in almost identical style.

"He has always been a nice horse - he seemed to meet a good one every time he ran - and we were very hopeful today," said rider Ted Durcan.

"The stands side is always a help here and it's very quick, rough ground."

Roche Des Vents (11-2) had not shown much on his recent debut but skipped away from the fancied pair Leiba Leiba and Alfraamsey in the EBF Maiden Stakes as yet another winner for juvenile maestro Richard Hannon and jockey Richard Hughes.

Owner Robin Blunt said: "I know he is entered in the Super Sprint and hopefully he ends up there."

Hughes and the Michael Bell-trained 11-4 favourite Tell Halaf later swept away Duster in another stands-rail battle for the toteswinger Handicap.

More joy for the favourite-backers ensued in the toteexacta Flexi Betting Handicap through Gary Moore's 3-1 chance Rocker.

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