3:15 – Kelso – EDF-ER FALLAGO RIG HANDICAP CHASE (CLASS 3) (4yo+ 0-140) Heavy 3m2f
Leac An Scail has led in three of his last four races and another bold front running effort is expected from the 11 year old bay gelding this afternoon. A winner over fences of an Official Rating of 118 he runs off a mark of 114 today and has the very capable Samantha Drake taking off a further 7lbs, which over a trip long distance trip in Heavy ground will be very handy.
Leac An Scail is a very reliable type and while he has not passed the winning post in front to often he does look a big price at 16/1 for this afternoon’s race. His has made a total of 43 starts under rules and has won four times and been placed 2nd or 3rd on a further 15 occasions, giving him a win and place strike rate of 44.1%. He has run over fences 18 times, winning once and being placed 9 nine times for a win and place strike rate of 55.5%, which looks decent when considering an each way wager on his today. He has also run four times in point to points, winning twice and finishing 2nd once.
Leac An Scail runs over 3 miles 2 furlongs this afternoon and at trips between 3 miles 1 furlong and 3 miles 2 ½ furlongs he has won once and been placed three times. The going at Kelso is Heavy with 2mm of rain overnight, so the trip will take some getting. Fortunately Leac An Scail is a bit of a mud lark winning once and finishing 2nd twice on his three runs in Heavy ground. His latest run in Heavy ground came at Uttoxeter in June when he finished 2nd just 1 ½ lengths behind the winner over a distance of 3 miles.
As mentioned above Samantha Drake rides him again today. Samantha has ridden Leac An Scail on his last five runs and the pair have won once and been placed three times. As a conditional jockey Samantha is able to claim 7lbs off her rides and is extremely good value for her claim. In her career under rules to date she has ridden 10 winners from 58 rides at a winning strike rate of 17.2%. She also rides in points to points and has won aboard Leac An Scail.
The best jumps action of the day is undoubtedly at Cheltenham, but this race has a decent field, with the winner picking up over £9,000 in a quality Class 3 Handicap. Leac An Scail will do extremely well to keep going from the front to win this but does look decent value to at least run into a place. His recent form is very encouraging as in his last four races his form figures read 3, 2, 2, 1. He also runs off just 9-12 when his jockey’s claim is taken into account which is a massive bonus over such a long trip in heavy ground, especially considering that the two favourites are running off 11-12 and 11-11 respectively, giving Leac An Scail a weight advantage of nearly 2 stones.
Leac An Scail will probably go from the front and if he can get into a decent rhythm he could have a few struggling in behind on the last circuit. With the vast majority of the field making their seasonal reappearances it is unlikely that connections will want their horses bottomed out on the first run of the season, and therefore Leac An Scail may just surprise a few again today by running into a place and possibly even winning.