RACING LEAGUE NEWS

Published 2022/08/05

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Levey stars as London and The South take early lead in Racing League

London and The South dominated week one of Racing League with four winners, including a three-timer from jockey Sean Levey on the William Hill-sponsored card at Doncaster.

Levey had two winners for his boss Richard Hannon, aboard System in the opening mile handicap and Zabbie in the seven-furlong nursery, before taking the penultimate 12-furlong handicap on the Andrew Balding-trained Scampi.

Nicola Currie registered London and The South’s fourth winner in the concluding 10-furlong handicap on Pledge Of Honour for Dean Ivory.

London and The South accrued 174 points across the seven races, with Yorkshire closing the night in second on 128 points and Wales and The West third on 125.

Matt Chapman, team manager for London and The South, said:

“I am absolutely delighted with tonight’s result but acutely aware that it is still very early. It could be a totally different story over the coming weeks, so I am not getting carried away, but you would rather have points on the board.

“My team did me proud and I have to say a massive thank you to Andrew Balding, Richard Hannon and Dean Ivory. Dean in particular absolutely requested that Pledge Of Honour should run and it was a delight to see how much it meant to him after the race. Andrew Balding is a massive supporter of the whole thing and so is Richard Hannon. I am just feeling like a bit of an idiot for not playing my joker but, having said that, I still have two up my sleeve.

“I think it is public knowledge that I have always thought Sean Levey is a brilliant jockey and he showed that tonight. He is entertaining, he has incredible skill, and hopefully one or two more people might sit up and take note. When the outside rides come, like tonight, hopefully people will realise how good he is and that may lead to more opportunities for him.”

Elsewhere on the card, Scotland trainer Jim Goldie was full of praise for jockey James Sullivan after he guided Yaaser to victory in the seven-furlong handicap, in which The East’s well-fancied favourite Fresh Hope endured a nightmare run in fourth.

Goldie said: “Yaaser is some horse. He has done nothing but improve since we got him from the Newmarket sales last year. He is by Lope De Vega with a nice pedigree. James gave him a beautiful ride. He has been riding for me for years and it is good to get a result on the board.”

The North secured 40 points in the six-furlong handicap, with the Mick Appleby-trained Juan Les Pins winning easily under Paul Hanagan and Recall The Show (Scott Dixon) finishing third.

Hanagan said: “We are up and running! It is great to get going and Juan Les Pins gave me a good feel. He picked up really well off a nice gallop. They got racing a bit soon and that suited him. He has now won four on the bounce and that takes some doing.”

Yorkshire celebrated a first and third in the five-furlong handicap as Mattice, trained by Tim Easterby, denied Ireland’s representative Kape Moss by a nose, with stable-mate Albegone in third.

Assistant trainer Will Easterby said: “That was fantastic. Albegone ran a blinder in third and Mattice just managed to do it on the line. I think the winner could end up being a nice horse. His sire Mattmu is coming back to England to stand at Bearstone Stud and he was a lovely horse for ourselves.”

Two teams played jokers, worth double points, on the night – Wales and The West in race one (finished 2nd and 4th) and Yorkshire in race four (4th and 11th). Each team is limited to two jokers across the 42 races.

Racing League standings after week one:

London and The South 174pts

Yorkshire 128pts

Wales and The West 125pts

Scotland 98pts

Ireland 83pts

The North 78pts

The East 55pts

For more information, please visit www.racingleague.uk.