4:50 – Leicester – BETFAIR BOOSTS PRIZE MONEY AT LEICESTER HANDICAP (CLASS 3) (3yo+ 0-95) Good To Firm 7f9y
Kingscroft has had a busy year having raced nine times between 10 March and 19 June. The 4 year old bay gelding is therefore a typical Mark Johnston trained horse in that they are kept extremely fit and generally take plenty of racing. Kingscroft has not won this season but with five of his seven turf runs containing the going description of good or soft he has perhaps not been seen at his best. His two runs this summer on good to firm ground have been his best two runs of the season.
He gets good to firm ground again today and his record on the surface is encouraging for his chances today. In nine starts on the going her has won once and been placed four times. His last run on good to firm was in a similar Class 3 Handicap to the one he runs in today. He ran his best race of the season at Catterick when after being held up for most of the run he only failed to reel in the winner by a neck and nothing was going better at the end.
Kingscroft runs over 7 furlongs again today which was the trip he ran over at Catterick and in 15 runs over the trip he has won 4 times and been placed 4 times. He is also 4lbs lower in the handicap than his previous best winning mark of 88 which came at Chester last year in Good to Firm ground.
He is ridden by Joe Fanning today and it is interesting to note that Joe has only ridden Kingscroft on 5 of his 34 starts which is a touch surprising as Joe has had 1996 rides for Mark Johnston over the past 5 seasons and rides most of the yard’s horses. The fact that Joe Fanning is back riding Kingscroft today could hint at a chance of tactics as on Joe’s five rides on the horse he has been prominent or lead four times. Six of Kingscroft’s seven wins have come when he has made all or been ridden prominently.
At 9/1 Kingscroft looks decent each way value this afternoon. He will be fresh after a break of 85 days and his yard are in good form with 7 winners in the last week. I for one will not be surprised to see Kingscroft attempt to make all today, especially fresh from a break and it would not be the biggest upset in the world to see him lead from start to finish with one of the best front running jockey’s in the business doing the steering.