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Ryedale racehorse Lease Lend tipped to extend Wetherby love affair
Wetherby launches its exciting weekend of racing with two Listed races on today’s card, and the chance for popular North Yorkshire horse Lease Lend to add to his admirable course record.
Trained at Great Habton by Tim Easterby, the nine-year-old has chalked up three wins, three seconds and five thirds in 13 previous outings at Wetherby.
His latest effort, when filling the frame behind Alvarado on this track, came on his comeback run after he had missed the whole of last season.
Lease Lend should be all the better for that outing and, with Dougie Costello in the saddle, he is taken to gain another Wetherby win in the £23,500 bet365 Handicap Chase, the richest race on the card.
The £15,000 Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Wensleydale Hurdle also carries Listed status and Paul Nicholls saddles an interesting newcomer in Sametegal, a French recruit, who is making his British debut.
Winner of one of his two races in France, Sametegal comes from a top stable in cracking form. He may have too much firepower for his six rivals, which include the hat-trick seeking Indepub.
Donald McCain, trainer of Indepub, has a useful chance with Beeves (1.00), a Sedgefield winner in May, in the opening race, while two in-form handicappers are also worth noting.
Sporting Boy (1.30) won so easily at Ludlow last week, and Giveitachance (3.45) who has rattled up a smooth double lately, may not be anchored by penalties as they make swift returns to action.
Michael Hills brings his 2,000-plus winners career to a close at Newmarket tomorrow. The Derby-winning jockey, who celebrates his 50th birthday in January, feels the time is right to call a halt, but is understandably keen to bow out with a winner on his local course.
Hills has five mounts on the card, and three better than average chances on Society Pearl, Desert Image and Red Jazz, all trained by his brother, Charlie, who is based in Lambourn.
Red Jazz was narrowly beaten by Fulbright on this course recently, which proved him to be in fine form. He has carried Hills to four wins in the past and is something of a favourite with the jockey, who teams up with him for a final time in the Betfred Ben Marshall Stakes.
Desert Image won well in maiden company on this course a fortnight ago when Hills made every yard of the running.
She has more on her plate this time, especially against the very promising Power Of Light, but Desert Image has a powerful style and she could take plenty of catching if allowed to dominate once again.
As for Society Pearl, who runs in the second division of the Irish Stallion Farms Maiden Fillies’ Stakes, she has already shown a decent level of ability and should be forgiven her latest effort at Haydock on heavy ground.
North Yorkshire trainer David O’Meara has two runners in the Betfred ‘The Bonus King’ Handicap and has particularly good claims with Classic Colori, the mount of Graham Lee.
Classic Colori failed by only a neck to beat Henry Allingham in a big field handicap on this course recently. He may not have to improve much on that effort.
Also worth noting at Newmarket is the Mark Johnston-trained Hajras, the mount of Paul Hanagan, and a good winner of a hot handicap at Newbury on his latest start. He is napped to follow up in the Piper-Heidsieck James Seymour Stakes.
1.00 Beeves, 1.30 Sporting Boy, 2.00 Lease Lend, 2.35 Sametegal, 3.10 Sparkling Tara, 3.45 Giveitachance.
Today’s other meetings: Newmarket, Uttoxeter and Wolverhampton.
12.15 Sillabub, 12.45 Society Pearl, 1.20 Restraint Of Trade, 1.55 Desert Image, 2.30 Classic Colori, 3.05 Hajras (NAP), 3.40 Red Jazz, 4.10 Bunraku.
Tomorrow’s other meetings: Ascot, Ayr and Wetherby.