Tonight's racing: three horses to look out for
What better way to lead you into a weekend packed full of action than to back a couple of winners on an interesting evening of racing on Friday. There are four meetings – Stratford (5.30, ATR), Goodwood (5.55, RUK), Haydock (6.15, RUK) and Clonmel (5.15, ATR) – comprising 26 races to try your hand at and these three horses look worth following.
Marcus Tregoning has been in flying form in the last fortnight having racked up three winners from his last eight runners (38 per cent), and this three-year-old son of Dalakhani looks well worth taking a chance on. Having his first start in handicap company and partnered by Tyler Saunders, who is well worth his 5lb claim, Leonidas looks likely to build on three quickfire runs in maiden company at the back-end of last year where he showed considerable promise. He is also having his first start since being gelded and stepping up dramatically in trip (7f up to 1m2f). He has serious potential to improve in a race which should be run to suit as there are a number of pace angles.
The Champion Hunters' Chase has been won by talented types in the past, including Salsify (2012), Mossey Joe (2013) and Paint The Clouds (2014 and 2016). This year looks an equally strong renewal with former triple Grade 2 winner Wonderful Charm standing out now receiving the assistance of Sam Waley-Cohen. Twice a winner of this race in the last seven years, Waley-Cohen takes the mount for the first time on the Paul Nicholls-trained gelding, who has been labelled 'his horse to ride in the hunter chases next year' after his father Robert bought a share since his last run when 19th in the Randox Health Grand National. The nine-year-old is a sound jumper, will stay the trip and will take all the beating.
Although likely to go off a short-priced favourite, Luca Cumani's three-year-old filly looks worthy of following based on some encouraging performances last season and she built on those on her reappearance. Staying on well in the closing stages to record two third-place finishes behind talented fillies Sobetsu and Shutter Speed in mile maidens last year, she showed that she had improved over the winter and for the step up in trip to 1m4f when a close second at Newmarket last time. She has been given a handicap mark of 79, which connections are likely to exploit after she scores today, so could be worth following in the coming months.
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