2:00 – Wetherby – BET365 HANDICAP CHASE (LISTED RACE) (CLASS 1) (4yo+ 0–150) Good To Soft 2m 4f 110y

Lease Lend ran at Wetherby 16 days ago after being absent since April 2011 and if this race does not come too soon for him after such a long break he is expected to give his backers a decent run.

The nine-year-old chestnut gelding’s reappearance run was at Wetherby and he must have more than pleased connections by finishing third just 3 ½ lengths behind the winner having been in contention until the last fence.

He loves running at Wetherby as in 13 starts at the track in Bumpers, Hurdles and Chase races he has won three times and been placed second or third on another eight occasions. The fences at Wetherby take some jumping so it is interesting to note that Lease Lend has completed all 20 starts over fences, eight of which have been at Wetherby. His overall record in this sphere is very respectable as he has recorded five wins and has been placed second and third a further seven times from his 20 starts.

Lease Lend runs over 2 miles 4 ½ furlongs this afternoon and he has won once and been placed four times from 11 runs at distances between 2 miles 4 furlongs and 2 miles 5 furlongs. The going at Wetherby is Good to Soft with 4mm of rain overnight which should suit Lease Lend who has won four times and been placed three times from 10 runs in Good to Soft.

He also goes well at this time of the year having previously run seven times in November which has resulted in two wins and four placed runs. He is ridden by Dougie Costello this afternoon. Dougie has ridden Lease Lend eight times previously, winning once and finishing placed four times. Dougie has a reasonable strike rate at Wetherby of 16% when riding in chases and has ridden 22 winners so far this season.

Not to many of the 11 runners can be ruled out of this race, as would be expected from a Listed event. However although seven of the field will have to win off career high Official Ratings, Lease Lend runs off the same mark as his last run and 1lb lower than his previous high winning mark.

He ran last time without any aids, but the tongue tie and checkpieces are reapplied today. He has worn them on eight of his last 10 runs and has won three times. With jumping at a premium today Lend Lease should prove to be a safe conveyance on a course he goes well at. He has the ground in his favour and is also proven off his Official Rating. If he does not bounce he must have a very decent chance today.

 

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TONY WARD

"I live in the North of Cumbria near the Solway Coast. My wife and I own a smallholding where we keep our horses. I have been involved in racing for over 20 years – the highlight being when a 2yo I owned won first time out at Hamilton Park. I work full-time in the racing game spending my time writing, researching and on course as a paddock judge – you can learn more about a horse’s chances watching them in the pre-parade and parade rings than you might imagine."

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