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Lahaag handicapped to strike in York opener

Lahaag has fallen to an attractive mark and looks good value to take advantage and land the spoils in the 1m 4f handicap at York today (1.55).

The John Gosden gelding is a classy sort who was last successful when landing a competitive 18-runner handicap over course and distance last October off a mark of 97.

Lahaag came from off the pace that day and ran on strongly to score with a bit more in hand than the 3/4 length winning margin suggests.

The five-year-old now gets into this contest off 4lb lower, and that gives him a massive chance at the weights.

Although Lahaag has yet to trouble the judge in four runs this season, his last two runs have suggested that he is working his way back to form.

In the first of those, Lahaag didn’t get any luck in-running before keeping on well to finish a not knocked about ninth of 18 to Arab Spring in the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The son of Marju then found the drop back in trip to 1m 2f against him when sixth of 14 to Energia Davos ay Haydock, and this afternoon’s extra 2f looks sure to see Lahaag in a far better light.

With Paul Hanagan in the saddle, and a decent draw in stall 11, everything looks in place for Lahaag to run a huge race now returned to the scene of his last success.

The other horse to make my shortlist in a wide open contest was the Luca Cumani trained Semeen.

The gelding was a progressive sort last season when scoring three times, and got back to winning ways last time out at Ascot’s Shergar Cup meeting when readily beating Proud Chieftan by 1 1/2 lengths.

Although now 5lb higher in the weights, the five-year-old looks the type who has more to offer and Richard Hughes is an eye-catching jockey booking for a stable in fine form at present.