Uttoxeter preview: Regal Park weighted to reign supreme
Regal Park bolted-up on his first start for trainer Dr Richard Newland, and looks a worthy favourite to follow-up in the 3m handicap chase on today’s seven-race card at Uttoxeter (16.50).
The eight-year-old made a complete mockery of his handicap mark of 80 when cruising to a facile 3 1/2 length success in a 2m 4f hurdle contest at the venue eight days ago.
After being held-up off the pace and given an ultra-confident ride by jockey Will Kennedy, Regal Park scythed through the field to take up the running at the last before quickening clear to win with any amount in hand.
It was an effort which suggested the son of Montjeu needed keeping firmly onside, and he is able to race off an unchanged mark now switched back to fences.
Given that Regal Park is due to race off 10lb higher in future assignments, it makes him thrown-in at the weights if seeing out the longer trip.
Regal Park also has previous chasing experience to his name having been placed off 3lb higher when trained by Gary Moore, and looks the type who is open to further progress and could run up a sequence for his new handler.
Trainer Sophie Leech has a 25 per cent strike rate at the venue in the last 12 months, and Lookslikerainted looks decent value to take advantage of a huge drop in the weights to provide her with another winner in the 2m 7f handicap hurdle (15.50).
The gelding finished runner-up on his debut over hurdles at Ffos Las back in 2014 when trained by Rebecca Curtis before registering an 81 length success over 2m 4f at the same venue.
The eight-year-old then found the step up into Grade 2 company too much when finishing a distant last of seven to Garde La Victoire at Cheltenham, before having his attention switched to chasing.
Lookslikerainted scored on his debut over the larger obstacles at Worcester when staying on well to beat Irish Buccaneer by 2 1/2 lengths, but his form then tailed-off badly and he has just one effort of note this year when finishing runner-up in a selling hurdle at Ffos Las three starts back off a mark of 117.
The son of Milan then joined Leech and, after being pulled up in a competitive 28-runner handicap hurdle at Punchestown, put in a better effort last time out when fourth to Street Entertainer at Worcester under tender handling.
Since then he has been dropped another 3lb and is now able to race off just 112. That is a career-low and 17lb below what he was rated over fences, and makes Lookslikerainted dangerously well-treated on the pick of his form.
14.20: Regal Diamond
14.50: Silent Movie
15.20: Roja Dove
15.50: Lookslikerainted (NB)
16.20: Common Practice
16.50: Regal Park (NAP)
17.20: Susie Sheep