Leicester Preview: Maria fancied for Moore success
Maria Bella is progressing at a rate of knots, and with Ryan Moore in the saddle for the first time looks to hold leading claims of landing the 7f fillies’ handicap at Leicester this evening (7.10).
The Godolphin owned filly came good at the third time of asking when winning a 13-runner maiden at Kempton by 2 3/4 lengths from Gay Marraige, and the race has thrown-up several subsequent winners.
The daughter of Raven’s Pass was then off the track for 217 ,before following up on handicap debut at the same venue earlier in the month when making all to beat Rekdhat by a neck off a mark of 79.
Maria Bella kept on well having raced keenly, finding plenty when asked having been hard on the bridle two from home.
It was an effort which suggested the Charlie Appleby trained three-year-old needed keeping firmly on side, and a 4lb rise in the weights is unlikely to be enough to stop Maria Bella going in again.
In the 6f maiden (6.10) Magical Memory looks to have been found a golden opportunity to open his account at the fourth time of asking.
Trained by Charlie Hills, the colt was sent off the heavily-backed favourite for a 5f contest on debut at Newbury and ran well to finish seventh fo 13 to Kasb.
The son of Zebedee was then far from disgraced when sixth in the Lily Agnes at Chester when failing to handle the track, and ran really well last time out at Sandown when chasing home Ivanwood after being slowly away.
That form sets a clear standard in this class 5 contest, and Magical Memory is going to be very tough to beat.
The other bet that appeals on a trappy card is Highlife Dancer in the extended 1m 3f handicap (8.10).
The Mick Channon trained gelding is a tough and conistent sort who got back on the scoresheet when scoring over course and distance four starts back by three lengths off a mark of 60.
Although now 5lb higher, Highlife Dancer will relish the quick ground, and there is every chance that the son of Imperial Dancer could get an easy lead.
The small field will definitely suit, and Highlife Dancer is going to be very tough to pass if allowed to boss proceedings from the off.
5.40: Noodles Blue Boy
6.10: Magical Memory
6.40: Fruit Pastille
7.10: Maria Bella (NAP)
7.40: Saint Thomas
8.10: Highlife Dancer (NB)
8.40: Sakhalin Star