Leicester preview: Terhaal ticks all the right boxes
David Metcalf | May 30, 2016
Terhaal looks tasty at Leicester
Terhaal shaped really well when runner-up on his seasonal reappearance and can go one better to land the 1m handicap on today’s card at Leicester (15:20).
The gelding looked a useful prospect when winning his sole start as a juvenile for William Haggas, but then suffered an injury and was on the sidelines for 345 days.
Terhaal then joined trainer David O’Meara and, after shaping as if badly needing his first start, posted two cracking efforts.
In the first of those, he finished an eye-catching a staying on third over 7f at Catterick.
The four-year-old backed that up with a solid third of 12 at Newmarket, keeping on to be beaten just over five lengths after racing too keenly in the early stages.
Judged on those efforts, a handicap mark of 78 looked very exploitable, and Terhaal shaped as if ahead of it when beaten just 1 1/2 lengths by Spring Offensive on return to action at Pontefract last month.
That run should have have blown away the cobwebs and put him spot on for this. With Ryan Moore now taking over in the saddle, the son of Raven’s Pass is going to be a tough nut to crack.
Azagal weighted to strike
Azagal has become dangerously well-treated and looks the answer to the 7f handicap (16:55).
The Tim Easterby trained mare scored first time up last season when keeping on well to beat Stosur at Nottingham off a mark of 87.
She largely struggled after that, but didn’t run too badly on a couple of occasions including when a one length fourth at Ripon off 84.
The five-year-old is now able to race off 78, 9lb lower than when last victorious, and comes into the contest on the back of two promising efforts.
In the first of those Azagal finished an excellent 2 1/4 length second to the thriving Lucy The Painter at Doncaster, who has gone to to score since at Lingfield off 6lb higher to make it four from four this season.
The daughter of Azamour backed that up with a solid fourth in a class 3 contest at York when not getting the clearest of runs, and this class 4 affair is far weaker and represents a golden opportunity for Azagal to get back on the scoresheet.
14.10: Pretty Vacant
14.45: Yankee Mail
15.20: Terhaal (NAP)
16.55: Azagal (NB)
17.25: Surround Sound