Soft ground forecast for today’s card at Leicester and in the 12f handicap I am looking forward to seeing the filly Inchicore (1.45) who is having just her third start. This will be the softest ground she has encountered so far and, as a daughter of Galileo, she is not certain to appreciate underfoot conditions, but her staying on fourth behind Tyson Fury at Doncaster last time is certainly working out well.
The winner failed to get home in the St Leger over an additional three furlongs but returned to winning ways at Ascot last week and the second and third have also subsequently franked the form. The selection – 10/3 from 6s with William Hill – has worn a hood for her two career starts to date but trainer Alan King discards the headgear this afternoon. Champion jockey Oisin Murphy takes over in the saddle.
In the feature race of the afternoon over the same 12f trip last year’s second and third Spanish Archer and Getchagetchagetcha reoppose and I feel the latter might gain his revenge today on the revised terms although I am prepared to give the three-year-old Brentford Hope (2.20) another chance having disappointed at Kempton last time.
The selection – 9/4 with 10bet – impressed when scoring at Newbury last October but has disappointed in two starts this term. Those efforts have led to the cruellest cut of all and the Richard Hughes gelding will encounter soft ground today for the first time since his winning debut at the Berkshire track. Jamie Spencer has been in the saddle for all three career starts and he keeps the ride today.
Stallone (3.50) won twice on heavy ground last October – including here at Leicester – and he has dropped to a similar mark this year. Yes, those successes were gained over 7f for a different yard, but the booking of champion jockey Oisin Murphy suggests a bold bid is expected this afternoon for Henry Spiller despite the fact that the stable have only had a couple of winners this term. The ew selection is 9/2 with William Hill.
Over to Lingfield and Ralph Beckett’s filly Dark Motive is owned by the Prince Of Wales and Duchess Of Cornwall and shaped with considerable promise when third at Newbury on debut over a mile giving every indication she will get further next term. I am not convinced this track will suit although I expect her to be doing all her best work late on.
Ivynator shaped with considerable promise on debut at Beverley and must go close but Taravara (2.40) ran a much better race than his finishing position would suggest when down the field at Doncaster over 7f on debut and I hope to see him leave that run in south Yorkshire well behind in time.
John Gosden’s juvenile cost £300,000 as a yearling and is half-brother to several winners. The trainer only has two runners this afternoon and it may be significant that Rab Havlin travels to Leicester to take the mount on well-bred newcomer Alexj at Leicester. The selection is 2/1 at Unibet.
Publicist (3.40) overcame the worst of the draw to win going away at Kempton last time and has a good draw, potentially, in stall one this afternoon. The filly appreciated the step up to 7f last time and she is only 2lbs higher than when a staying on third here over 6f back in August when she ruined her chance with a slow start. If she is tardy away from the boxes again today her draw will soon become a concern but, granted a decent break, she can follow up her latest success in an extremely competitive nursery. The filly has drifted out to 15/2 with William Hill who are betting each way 4 places.
Born Leader (5.40) remains a maiden after 10 career starts but she ran an excellent race at Nottingham nine days ago over 1m 6f and she drops back in trip this afternoon. Saffie Osborne takes over in the saddle this afternoon and she can shed that maiden tag from an excellent draw in stall three. I hope her new partner – 9/4 with Boyelsports – makes plenty of use of Hughie Morrison’s four-year-old.