Wednesday Leicester racing tips 29 January – Selections through the card

Get Brian Healy's race-by-race selections and best bets for Wednesday's feature meeting at Leicester.

Brian Healy gives his Wednesday Leicester racing tips through the card as he assesses the day’s feature meeting over the sticks.

Following the loss of Hereford’s scheduled jumps racing card on Wednesday there remains only Leicester to go to post over the sticks where a six-race card gets underway at 1.45pm.

The feature race of the day is the William Hill Golden Miller Handicap Hurdle which is the fourth race of the afternoon at the Leicestershire venue, but a strong card awaits punters where there is plenty of competitive racing action throughout the afternoon. Keep reading for our Wednesday Leicester racing tips through the card.

1:45 – EBF British Stallion Studs “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier) Cl3 (4-7yo) 2m4½f
2:15 – Somerby Chase (A Novices’ Limited Handicap) Cl3 (5yo+ 0-140) 2m6½f
2:45 – Kirby Muxloe Claiming Hurdle Cl4 (4yo+) 1m7½f
3:15 – William Hill Golden Miller Handicap Hurdle Cl3 (4yo+ 0-125) 1m7½f
3:45 – Running Hare Handicap Chase Cl3 (5yo+ 0-130) 2m4f
4:15 – Six Hills Handicap Hurdle Cl4 (4yo+ 0-110) 2m4½f

WEDNESDAY LEICESTER RACING TIPS THROUGH THE CARD

1:45 – IMPERIAL ALCAZAR (8/15, Bet365)
2:15 – PISTOL WHIPPED (11/8, Paddy Power)
2:45 – BARACALU (5/2, Paddy Power)
3:15 – MIAH GRACE (9/4, William Hill)
3:45 – CELTIC RISING (5/1, Coral)
4:15 – DREWMAIN LEGEND (11/4, Ladbrokes)

1:45 – EBF British Stallion Studs “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier) Cl3 (4-7yo) 2m4½f

IMPERIAL ALCAZAR (8/15, Bet365) is likely to take some beating in the opener where Fergal O’Brien’s charge can get back on the winning trail.

The Vinne Roe gelding showed some useful form in bumpers prior to beating Coconut Splash on his hurdling debut at Aintree last October. He has finished runner-up both starts since, including in a Cheltenham Listed contest behind Protektorat who has since made the frame in a Grade Two contest.

The selection was awarded the Cheltenham race in the stewards’ room before losing the victory later following an appeal. Nevertheless, that form is the strongest on offer here and he should find this a much easier assignment in any case.

He sets a solid standard, and while he has to give away upwards of 6lbs, he should prove equal to the task and can resume winning ways.

1:45 Leicester – EBF British Stallion Studs “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier) Cl3 (4-7yo) 2m4½f

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IMPERIAL ALCAZAR 8 /15
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Imperial Alcazar features in our Leicester Wednesday tips.

Imperial Alcazar (left) can get back on the winning trail in the Leicester opener.

2:15 – Somerby Chase (A Novices’ Limited Handicap) Cl3 (5yo+ 0-140) 2m6½f

PISTOL WHIPPED (11/8, Paddy Power) was twice placed between the flags prior to joining Nicky Henderson where the Beneficial gelding showed ability over hurdles, scoring at the second attempt at Fakeham last February.

Possibly amiss when pulled up next time at Sandown behind Forza Milan, he had wind surgery and made a winning reappearance at this venue when switched to the larger obstacles in December.

He made all the running that day, appearing to win with something in reserve and he is likely to improve for the experience and the outing where he will strip fitter as a consequence.

The handicapper has hit him with a 6lbs rise in the weights; but he could prove up to the task of defying that raise and make it 2-2 over fences for the Seven Barrows trainer.

2:15 Leicester – Somerby Chase (A Novices’ Limited Handicap) Cl3 (5yo+ 0-140) 2m6½f

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PISTOL WHIPPED 11 /8
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2:45 – Kirby Muxloe Claiming Hurdle Cl4 (4yo+) 1m7½f

BARACALU (5/2, Paddy Power) has been around a few doors with only limited success, but having pitched up at Tristan Davidson for his last couple of runs the Califet gelding has shown an improved level of form.

The nine-year old ended his time with Sandy Thompson by finishing third behind the useful Lord Yeats at Sedgefield. He was subsequently absent for almost eleven months until returning to action at Carlisle back in November, and he built on that performance latest when fitted with cheekpieces for the first time to beat Percy by almost two lengths.

That was only a seller, but he won comfortably and this latest assignment looks no harder so he might be able to follow up here assuming the headgear has the same positive effect.

2:45 Leicester – Kirby Muxloe Claiming Hurdle Cl4 (4yo+) 1m7½f

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BARACULU 5 /2
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3:15 – William Hill Golden Miller Handicap Hurdle Cl3 (4yo+ 0-125) 1m7½f

MIAH GRACE (9/4, William Hill) showed some ability in a pair of bumpers last year, but Jedd O’Keeffe’s charge has taken her form up a notch since being switched to hurdles where the Malinas mare is 2-3 from her starts this term.

A ready winner of her hurdles debut at Hexham in October, she was subsequently far from disgraced in a much better race when denied only by Big Bad Bear at Wetherby. However, she wasted no time in getting back on the scoresheet at Hexham latest where the heavy ground proved no issue.

She had just over one length to spare over Stainsby Girl on that occasion, finding plenty to hold off the runner-up with the pair clear; that form has stood up fairly well and she now tries handicapping where a mark of 125 may not overfaze her given she likely has the potential for further improvement.

3:15 Leicester – William Hill Golden Miller Handicap Hurdle Cl3 (4yo+ 0-125) 1m7½f

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MIAH GRACE 9 /4
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(Read our full preview of this race)

3:45 – Running Hare Handicap Chase Cl3 (5yo+ 0-130) 2m4f

CELTIC RISING (5/1, Coral) could be worth chancing on his reappearance having undergone wind surgery during his absence, and Tom George’s charge remains an interesting recruit over the larger obstacles despite a couple of lacklustre runs when last seen in this sphere.

The Curtain Time gelding swapped the point-to-point sphere – where he was a winner – for hurdling under the care of Henry de Bromhead where he got off the mark at the third attempt for that handler at Down Royal prior to finishing a creditable fourth in a Listed race at Navan.

He was subsequently off form nine months before making his reappearance over fences, but he fell at Limerick and he looked a reluctant jumper at Punchestown when last seen behind Riders Onthe Storm.

It is early days though for him as a chaser, and he might well show improved form for his wind operation and the fitting of a tongue-tie on his return to action.

3:45 Leicester – Running Hare Handicap Chase Cl3 (5yo+ 0-130) 2m4f

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CELTIC RISING 5 /1
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We're tipping Tom George to train a winner at Leicester on Wednesday.

Tom George can get amongst the winners at Leicester on Wednesday.

4:15 – Six Hills Handicap Hurdle Cl4 (4yo+ 0-110) 2m4½f

DREWMAIN LEGEND (11/4, Ladbrokes) has won both over hurdles and fences in her career and Ali Stronge’s charge struck his latest success at this venue on her penultimate start back in December.

The Midnight Legend mare ran out a near-three lengths’ winner over Broke Away over two miles, but she had earlier won over a similar trip to this at Chepstow last April and she was far from disgraced when last seen at Newbury over the Festive period where she found only Fair Kate too strong by five lengths.

The step up in trip on heavy ground will hold no fears for her and she can race here from the same mark so every chance she can make her presence felt again and get back on the scoresheet.

WEDNESDAY LEICESTER RACING TIPS THROUGH THE CARD

1:45 – IMPERIAL ALCAZAR (8/15, Bet365)
2:15 – PISTOL WHIPPED (11/8, Paddy Power)
2:45 – BARACALU (5/2, Paddy Power)
3:15 – MIAH GRACE (9/4, William Hill)
3:45 – CELTIC RISING (5/1, Coral)
4:15 – DREWMAIN LEGEND (11/4, Ladbrokes)

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