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Can class-dropping Just Fine give King Charles his first winner?

Just Fine (left) could hold the key to this competitive handicap
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Tuesday: 3.10 Leicester
Kube - Leicester's Premier Event Hire Venue Handicap | 1m2f | 3yo+ | RTV

This race was won last year by Pied Piper, who went on to finish third in the Triumph Hurdle, and although Cheltenham Festival clues might be hard to find in this field, it has attracted a smart line-up.

The first three runners for King Charles III in the royal silks have all run well without winning and Just Fine, the early market leader for this 1m2f contest, could be his first winner in the famous purple and red colours.

Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, Just Fine has been plying his trade at higher levels this season, finishing third and sixth in a pair of valuable York handicaps, latterly the John Smith's Cup.

The last time he contested Class 3 company, he posted a career-best Racing Post Rating of 105, and he is just 2lb higher than when winning that Sandown race in July.

If he bounces back from recent below-par efforts at Goodwood and Doncaster he has excellent claims, while Sea The Casper is another trying to take advantage of a weaker grade.

Simon and Ed Crisford's string remain in excellent form and he made it second-time lucky in handicaps at Kempton in August. He carried his head awkwardly and hung when down the field at Newbury last time, however, and this may not be enough of a test for him.

Mr Professor beat Westover to win a Pontefract Listed race last October. Although winless since, recent starts at Thirsk and Yarmouth have been encouraging and he is lurking on a dangerous mark.

Similar comments apply to Kenzai Warrior and Jean Baptiste, with the former dropping into Class 3 company for the first time after a muddling season.


What they say

Roger Teal, trainer of Kenzai Warrior
We haven't been lucky with the going this year; even though it's good ground here we could have done with a bit more rain. He seems in good order and we're running out of time to run. He's fairly well handicapped.

Alice Haynes, trainer of Mr Professor
He ran well last time. David [Egan] said if he'd ridden him before he would have ridden him slightly differently. He's fresh and full of himself. Hopefully, it's the time of year to get a win into him as a three-year-old. I'm happy with him, so fingers crossed.

Roger Fell, trainer of Jean Baptiste
It's a tough little race. We've given him a little bit of a break and he's in really good form. He'll appreciate any cut in the ground.

Ivan Furtado, trainer of Matchless
He's a very consistent horse and goes on every type of ground. He ran a great race at Newcastle last time. That was competitive and he led a long way out at a track that didn't suit him. This also looks very competitive but if all goes well I can see him being there or thereabouts.


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He's fresh and full of himself. Hopefully, it's the time of year to get a win into him as a three-year-old
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