Ludlow preview: L’aigle Royal ready to rule
David Metcalf | January 4, 2016
L’aigle Royal can take advantage of what looks a handy mark to land the 2m 7f handicap hurdle on today’s card at Ludlow (13.35).
The gelding had some useful for to his name in France, and looked a smart prospect when bolting up by 26 lengths at Sedgefield on debut for trainer John Quinn.
L’aigle Royal failed to get his head in front in six subsequent starts, but ran well in some decent races.
They included when a cracking fourth of 17 to As De Mee in a hot class 1 handicap hurdle at Sandown off a mark of 128, and that form reads well in the context of this lower grade class 3 affair, making L’aigle Royal look nicely treated off just 2lb higher.
The four-year-old also ran very well on return to action when runner-up at Wetherby and, although not quite too good last time out when seventh of 15 to One For Harry at Carlisle, that was a class 2 contest and this is easier.
L’aigle Royal also now gets the services of Richard Johnson in the saddle and, with underfoot conditions holding no fears, this looks a lovely opportunity for the son of Sholokhov to get back in the winners’ enclosure.
Cash in on Cloonacool
In the 3m handicap chase (14.10), Cloonacool looks capable of giving weight and a beating to all his rivals.
The Stuart Edmunds trained gelding showed progressive form throughout last season when winning three times, and looked better than ever on seasonal reappearance when landing a Listed class 1 handicap hurdle at Market Rasen by two lengths lengths off a rating of 132.
Cloonacool was then far from disgraced when fifth of 11 to Nabucco in a class 1 contest at Ascot, where he did well to be beaten just 5 1/2 lengths having made a bad mistake three from home when still going well.
Although then not at his best next time up at the same venue, Cloonacool quickly bounced back to finish a fine second on chase debut at Plumpton when last seen in action.
The son of Beneficial went down by five lengths to the highly regarded Regal Encore after making a couple of costly errors, and it was an effort which suggested Cloonacool should be up to winning races over fences off his current mark of 135.
13.00: The Coffee Hunter
13.35: L’aigle Royal (NAP)
14.10: Cloonacool (NB)
14.45: Mount Haven
15.20: Magical Man
15.50: Miss Spent