Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 10:41 07/10/2014
The Squirrel Handicap at 4.10 Leicester offers the richest prize of the day and trainer James Toller is expected to land a share of the spoils with Loving Spirit.
The experienced six-year-old has only visited the winners enclosure once in 27 starts but has finished in the first three in 33% of his appearances and looks to have a good chance of finishing among the places at the very least today.
Loving Spirit began the season with a rating of 100 after some decent performances last term, most notably at Ascot where he finished a close third in a good quality handicap over seven furlongs in July and again this time last year when beaten two necks by useful Heavens Guest in a £100,000 Heritage Handicap.
Today’s mile journey should hold no concerns as the gelding has solid form at this trip on turf and the all weather and, dropped to a decent mark, looks good each way value at a general 12/1 including William Hill.
Market leader Fire Ship will appreciate easier ground and has a number of respectable efforts this term, not least when finishing third in a Group 3 contest on heavy going at Deauville at the end of August. Spa’s Dancer also prefers plenty of cut in the ground, has run well in some hotly contested handicaps and is another to consider if the going is on the easy side.
The biggest danger looks to be Brendan Powell-trained Dark Emerald, the improving four-year-old will be a popular bet coming off the back of a course and distance win in a similar race two weeks ago and is only two lbs higher today.