TOP TUG can rediscover the winning trail in the Sir Gordon Richards Handicap at Leicester today.

With a total prize fund of £30,000 up for grabs, a decent field of nine runners have been declared for the one-mile-three-furlong contest.

Top Tug is yet another talented dual-purpose performer for Alan King, having shown smart form over hurdles as well as on the level.

The Elite Racing Club-owned six-year-old has run four times on the Flat so far in 2017, with an impressive victory at Goodwood sandwiched by excellent efforts in defeat at Newmarket – finishing second to the high-class Frontiersman – and Royal Ascot, where he was fourth in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes.

His latest effort in the Ebor at York looked too bad to be true and it soon transpired he had finished lame.

Top Tug has been given two months to recover and with cut in the ground not a major concern, he is capable of claiming a sixth career success.

King brings the long-absent Chatez back to competitive action in the Hoby Handicap, but he could struggle to keep tabs on the bang-in-form top-weight LONDON PROTOCOL.

Karl Burke's charge has done most of his racing in France this year, a tactic which has yielded two lucrative victories.

He was particularly impressive on his latest appearance on an artificial surface at Chantilly, which can be marked down as a career-best effort.

The four-year-old has plenty on his plate as he bids to give weight and a beating to each of his nine rivals on his return to the turf, but he might just be up to the job.

WRENTHORPE can make it third time lucky in the opening British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes at Redcar.

The Hellvelyn gelding shaped with abundant promise when runner-up on his Haydock introduction in late September.

That form does not amount to much, but Bryan Smart's charge looked a winner waiting to happen and came very close to opening his account when beaten just a head by the 75-rated Nicklaus over this course and distance earlier this month.

That effort sets a decent standard in the context of this race and it will take a fair performance from one of the newcomers to prevent him getting off the mark.

SEA YOUMZAIN is taken to beat the boys in the European Breeders' Fund EBF Double Trigger Novice Stakes.

Mark Johnston's filly is bred for the job as a daughter of Sea The Stars and out of the same mare that produced Montataire, who has won four races including a Listed prize for the yard.

The Middleham handler will be keen to win a race named after his brilliant stayer of the mid to late 90s and Sea Youmzain has strong claims having finished second on her racecourse debut at this venue little under a fortnight ago.

I'm Improving and We Know also bring useful form to the table, but getting the fillies allowance, Sea Youmzain gets the nod.

BETTER GETALONG can make a successful start to his jumping career in the EBF Stallions/William Hill High Five "National Hunt" Novices' Hurdle.

The Nicky Richards-trained six-year-old carried the colours made famous by the hugely popular Monet's Garden to two bumper successes last season, scoring at Ayr and Kelso.

The Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival proved a bridge too far, but Better Getalong remains an exciting prospect and with the yard in decent form at the moment, there might be some long faces at Greystoke in Cumbria if he cannot make a winning reappearance.


AYR: 1.30 Global Stage, 2.05 Better Getalong, 2.40 Socksy, 3.15 Spoils Of War, 3.50 Halcyon Days, 4.20 Karamoko.

GALWAY: 1.10 Ainsi Va La Vie, 1.45 Free Expression, 2.20 Call It Magic, 2.55 Off The Charts, 3.30 Aeglos, 4.05 Josies Orders, 4.35 Moonlight Escape.

LEICESTER: 12.15 Zumurud, 12.45 Felisa, 1.20 TOP TUG (NAP), 1.55 London Protocol, 2.30 Tawfeer, 3.05 Not After Midnight, 3.40 Maybride, 4.10 My Girl Maisie.

REDCAR: 12.00 Wrenthorpe, 12.30 Excellent Times, 1.05 Sea Youmzain, 1.40 Little Pippin, 2.15 Good Time Ahead, 2.50 Pudding Chare, 3.25 Rapid Ranger, 4.00 Bold Spirit.

WEXFORD: 1.00 Early Doors, 1.35 Get Smart, 2.10 Gracemount, 2.45 Nomanbehind, 3.20 Tiger Roll, 3.55 Le Martalin, 4.25 Mad Carew.

DOUBLE: Top Tug London Protocol