Our racing expert has three to back at Leicester this afternoon.
Anything that Ralph Beckett runs at the Midlands venue is always worth a second look as his horses have proved very profitable to follow here, with all his runners yielding a whopping £109.12 profit to £1 level stakes. When you also consider that the Hampshire-based trainer is in great form – he’s 8-29 (28%) in the last fortnight – his sole runner this afternoon, POYLE GEORGE TWO in the 6f handicap, has to be of serious interest.
The three-year-old has other things to recommend him too, principally the fact he’s less exposed than his rivals and open to further improvement. That is required given what we’ve seen so far, although he’s shown enough talent to finish third the last twice, including when stepped up to this trip at Yarmouth last time. If he can settle a little better this afternoon under Harry Bentley, he really ought to be competitive off an opening mark of 67 which surely underestimates him.
Just five will go to post for the feature class 2 handicap over 1m4f and they include a couple of last-time-out winners in Huge Future and Byron Flyer, who is chasing a hat-trick. However, they are high enough in the weights (both are on career-high marks) and the former could have done with a drop of rain as he seems happier on an easier surface.
Given that the pair take a big chunk out of the market, there has to be some value in taking them on and NOT SO SLEEPY makes plenty of appeal. Hughie Morrison’s six-year-old has been running well of late, twice finishing runner-up, including in a warm class 2 at Newbury last time, and his fourth at Sandown in between can be upgraded as he came from a long way back. Off the same mark of 97, which is 1lb lower than his last winning one, this could be the day he gets he deservedly gets his head back in front.
The class 2 5f handicap looks tight with not much separating the seven runners, but Robert Cowell’s BLUE DE VEGA has generally been running well and looks to be on a very competitive mark, having been dropped a further 1lb since finishing fifth of the last 17 runners at Haydock last time. Now rated 92, which is the mark he won off in this grade at Ascot in July before being gelded, he won’t get many better winning opportunities than this and the booking of Oisin Murphy is another positive as he seems to go particularly well for the bang-in-form rider.
All odds were correct at time of posting.