Our racing expert has three to back at Leicester.
Charlie Hills’ juveniles usually improve with racing and there is surely better to come from MR SPIRIT, who hasn’t finished closer than sixth in his three starts. Connections would have been hoping for better given he was a 150,000gns purchase as a yearling and is a brother to a couple of winners, but he may have found his level in this afternoon’s class 5 7f nursery off an opening mark, with the step up to this trip likely to suit on breeding. Callum Shepherd, who has booted home three winners (all at good prices) for the same stable in the last fortnight, takes the reigns.
The feature class 2 handicap over a a few yards shy of 1m4f might see Mark Johnston’s HOCHFIELD claim his first success of the season he deserves after a string of decent efforts in better company than today’s. His most recent effort came in a Listed event at Chester (1m41/2f) and he ran right up to his best in finishing second, having set out to make all and only being headed inside the final furlong. That is how the four-year-old likes to race and I’d expect his jockey P J McDonald to ride a positive race from the front over this shorter trip. The partnership are going to be hard to catch.
It was only a seller that LADY ALAVESSA won over track and trip last time but today’s claiming contest isn’t that much better and she is getting weight from the two of her ten rivals that are higher rated. It often pays to follow a filly in form at this time of year and her latest success, which was doubling her tally, would have done her confidence plenty of good after several near misses in higher grade contests earlier in the season. That Josephine Gordon is renewing the partnership is another positive.
All odds were correct at time of posting.