Amongst the usual array of backend maidens on Leicester’s card on Monday are a couple of excellent class 2 handicaps. We have a good quantity of runners for the first, a mile handicap, and a small but select group of six for the second over 12f. I am concentrating on those races for my two selections today.
Leicester 2.30: Ingleby Angel
Trainer David O’Meara is responsible for three of the ten runners in this mile contest and stable jockey Daniel Tudhope has chosen Ingleby Angel. Although the 5yo has yet to win in 2014, he has shaped well on his last couple of starts and came good at this time of year last season.
The gelding knows how to win races having won 8-37 in his career, and he won twice on very bad ground towards the end of 2012, so it is surprising that he has raced so infrequently on soft ground since. Six of those wins have come at a mile, so this is very much his trip, although he has a win over 9f to his credit as well, which could be useful on this stiff mile on soft going.
He has a couple of second places to his name this season, in the Thirsk Hunt Cup in the spring and at Ayr in July, but most of his best performances in previous seasons have come from mid-August onwards and he finished in the first half of the field in the Cambridgeshire last month, before keeping on nicely into fifth at Haydock last time, a first go on soft ground this season. He has dropped to a season low mark of 93 today, just 3lbs higher than his last winning mark at Redcar last October.
Leicester 3.30: Rewaaya
With doubts about the rest of the field for one reason or another, Rewaaya looks the only solid option with proven form both on soft ground and over this 12f trip and she can overcome her relative lack of experience with victory here.
Her first three careers runs all came with cut in the ground. Very green when down the field at Ascot, she showed she had learnt plenty from that experience with a facile 9l win over this course and distance in an admittedly modest maiden. Having been kept on the sidelines whilst the ground dried up over the summer, she was given a tough task for her reappearance from a four month break at Newmarket last month, back on softish going.
She responded with an excellent display, making much of the running before staying on strongly to beat Desert Snow by 4l. That persuaded trainer John Gosden to throw her into a valuable handicap over the same course and distance a couple of weeks ago. Sadly however the ground had dried up somewhat by then and she could never quite get on terms, despite finishing a creditable eighth. There will be no excuse on account of the ground today and this could easily be used as a stepping stone into group race company for next season.
Leicester 2.30: Ingleby Angel – 11-2 BetVictor
Leicester 3.30: Rewaaya – 15-8 general
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