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Leicester Preview: Third time lucky for Thomas

Some classy sorts go to post for a fascinating 2m novice chase at Leicester today (2.50), and Thomas Crapper can make his experience tell to score a deserved success.

The Robin Dicken trained gelding was a useful handicap hurdler who promises to be an even better chaser judged on two runs over the larger obstacles this season.

In the first of those at Cheltenham, the seven-year-old raced up with the pace and made a couple of mistakes before weakening on the run-in to finish a fine three length third to the classy Court Minstrel.

Thomas Crapper backed that up with a solid length second to Vibrato Voltat at Warwick, where he attempted to make all but could not match the easy winner for speed on the run-in.

Vibrato Voltat has since gone on to finish a good second to Dunraven Storm in a decent Grade 2 contest at Cheltenham and the form looks rock solid in the context of this contest.

Judged on those efforts Thomas Crapper will have no trouble winning races over fences and his fitness and experience can see him account for Deep Trouble and Three Kingdoms who are both making their chasing debuts having shown a high level of form over hurdles.

Deep Trouble landed two valuable contests at Sandown and Punchestown last season, but is a quirky sort who has to be delivered very late and I am not convinced that the seven-year-old has the right attitude to be as good over fences.

Three Kingdoms was a progressive sort in novice hurdles last season, winning three times before finishing 12th of 18 to Vautour in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

The John Ferguson trained five-year-old clearly has a big engine, and with the yard going great guns looks the main danger to Thomas Crapper if putting in a clear round.

In the 2m 7f handicap chase (1.45), Ross Parks looks weighted to take all the beating in the hands of in-form jockey Richard Johnson.

The Neil Mulholland trained mare opened her account over fences when landing a novice handicap chase at Wincanton off a mark of 110 under Johnson and is now able to race off 9lb lower.

That gives the eight-year-old major claims from a handicapping perspective in what is a weak class 4 contest, and although Rossa Parks was disappointing when well beaten on seasonal reappearance the daughter of Anshan looks the one to beat at the weights if the fitting of the cheekpieces for the first time have the desired effect.

Selections:
12.45: Nyanza
1.15: Double U Dot Ede’s
1.45: Rossa Parks (NB)
2.20: Zafranagar
2.50: Thomas Crapper (NAP)
3.20: Bally Gunner
3.50: Miles To Memphis