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Leicester and Sandown previews: Kitaaby can kick rivals into touch

| 20.07.2016

David Metcalf | July 20, 2016

Lots to like about Kitaaby at Leicester

Kitaaby scored in good style last time out and can make light of a rise in the weights to follow-up in the 7f handicap on this evening’s card at Leicester (19.15).

The Brian Meehan trained gelding showed plenty of pace to race prominently and after taking up the running at the furlong marker only had to be driven out to beat Tripartite by a length in a 13-runner contest at Newbury.

Kitaaby was value for more than the winning margin indicates and the third and fourth home have both come out and won since.

That gives the form a rock solid look and suggests a 4lb rise may well be on gthe lenient side.

The three-year-old also remains lightly-raced and open to further improvement after just six starts and this looks a weak class 4 contest lacking any real strength in depth.


Mukhayyam makes plenty of appeal

In the extended 1m 3f handicap (19.45), Mukhayyam looks weighted to get back to winning ways following some eye-catching efforts.

The gelding was a dual winner as a juvenile when trained by Sir Michael Stoute but then lost his way and joined Tim Easterby.

Mukhayyam started life off with his new handler off a rating of 91 but is now able to race off just 80.

That is a career-low and the four-year-old ran an excellent race at York off 3lb higher three starts back when a 1 3/4 length fourth of 10 to Pandora in a class 3 contest at York.

Mukhayyam followed that up with a solid seventh of 13 to Sindarban at Carlisle when not getting the run of the race, and again had things conspire against him last time out when fourth at Ripon in a class 3 contest.

This class 4 affair is easier and represents a golden opportunity for the son of Dark Angel to score an overdue success.

Leicester selections

17.40: Caeser The Gaeser
18.10: Qortaaj
18.40: Boutan
19.15: Kitaaby (NAP)
19.45: Mukhayyam (NB)
20.15: Sacred Harp
20.50: Possible Future

Jack Of Diamonds to come up triumphs at Sandown

Jack Of Diamonds has run some solid races at Sandown and looks to hold outstanding claims at the weights of landing the 1m handicap on this evening’s card at the Esher venue (18.30).

The gelding’s record at the track reads 28212 and the Roger Teal trained seven-year-old is able to race off a mark 9lb lower than when scoring three starts back at Wolverhampton.

That gives Jack Of Diamonds major claims from a handicapping perspective and he comes into the contest on the back of a fine 1 1/2 length fifth of 12 to Dubai Secret at Newbury.

This is arguably less competitive and another plus is that Jack Of Diamonds hails from a yard going well at present having saddled four winners from it’s last 17 runners.

The booking of George Baker to do the steering also catches the eye and everything suggests this is a nice opening for Jack Of Diamonds to notch a second success on the turf.


Touch The Sky tough to beat

Touch The Sky has been in terrific form of late and can defy top weight to land the spoils in the 1m 6f handicap (20.05).

The David Elsworth trained gelding opened his account at Pontefract back in May before showing tremendous battling qualities to follow-up over course and distance when beating Rideonstar.

Touch The Sky set out to make all in the latter and rallied gamely when headed inside the last to get back up and score by a neck.

The five-year-old then lost little in defeat last time out when third at Salisbury on soft ground which didn’t seem to suit and the return to a quicker surface is a big plus.

Touch The Sky is also likely to get an uncontested lead and that is going to make him tough to peg back at at track where it is difficult to make up ground from off the pace.

Sandown selections

18.00: Attain
18.30: Jack Of Diamonds (NAP)
19.05: Leader’s Legacy
19.35: Outer Space
20.05: Touch The Sky (NB)
20.40: Jaywalker


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David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.