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Template shaped to win

Five very lucky Coral Champions Club members and their guests will experience a day they will never forget at Market Rasen later this afternoon when the Champions Club owned Template makes his seasonal reappearance in the ‘Hands And Heels’ Handicap Hurdle at 3:55pm.

The Harry Fry trained four year-old, who became the club’s first ever purchase when bought at the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale last year, enters handicap company for the first time.

The ex-flat recruit made his debut over hurdles for the club at Taunton last January and ran a cracker to finish a close up third behind two more experienced rivals. Template’s form dipped somewhat in two subsequent efforts but there was mitigating circumstances behind these defeats. Club handler, Harry Fry, believes a repeat of that first run would give him a big chance today.

“Template is in good form and we are really happy with him at home. I’m looking forward to running him. The summer break seems to have done him well and he has been a totally different horse to train this autumn.”

Taking on 6 rivals, Template is partnered by crack conditional jockey Liam McKenna. The Irish born rider joined the Harry Fry setup in the autumn and this will be his first ride in the UK. The early market suggests Template has a great chance of registering his first win and Coral Senior Racing Trader, Jason Ryan, believes this race is very winnable.

“Template makes his handicap debut in Market Rasen’s finale and I expect him to win. He’s a much better horse on soft ground and that’s exactly what he’s going to encounter here. I feel his mark of 115 is workable and there doesn’t appear to be a lot of depth to the race. His debut run last year was full of promise and if Harry has him back to that level of form, he should be winning this.”

If everything goes to plan, the club members, who will be dined and wined in a private box before today’s race, could be popping the champers in the bar afterwards too! A win today could also provide the tantalising prospect of the club having a runner at this month’s Open meeting at Cheltenham. Template could go for a race on ‘Countryside Day’ at Prestbury Park without a penalty and before the handicapper could re-assess him! But let’s not get too carried away!

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