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London & South and Wales & The West are neck-and-neck as the Racing League continues at Windsor on Thursday September 1, with a single point separating the two teams at the halfway stage.
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After a flying start to the competition at Doncaster and Lingfield Park, London and the South saw their 71-point advantage disappear in Newcastle last week as they finished the night with the narrowest lead overall on 428 points.
Sean Levy sat out three nights but returned to London and South with four rides to maintain his lead in the jockey standings.
Team manager Matt Chapman said: “It was a great effort from all my coaches to get two runners in each race, especially as the forecast changed dramatically from the entry stage.
“Besides winning the whole thing, my biggest goal has always been to crown Sean Levy the leading rider. He only has four rides on Thursday, so that enables us to put him back in the other two meetings, but I think he has every chance at all the mounts.”
All 13 representatives from Wales and the West picked up points in Newcastle, a feat Jamie Osborne’s side will be aiming to repeat this week with a full complement of runners.
Osborne said: “My coaches have been brilliant again and we’re building a fairly tight team across the seven races.
“I think the nursery is potentially our strongest race of the night, with Lost Angel and Safari Dream both coming off good runs after defeats. Generally, though, I think every one of our runners is capable of scoring well.
“I haven’t had the chance to see what Matt is doing with his team but our aim on Thursday is to finish the night at the top of the table.”
The East are less than 100 points behind the leaders after strong displays at Lingfield Park and Newcastle.
Team manager Rupert Bell said: “Last week was disappointing in some respects because, although we had two winners from Charlie Fellows and what was perhaps a competitive outing from Kieran Showmark, we didn’t score consistently well enough on the night. .
“I have a sense of reality about this week. We are still within touching distance but with the lack of rain throwing off some of our running plans we may find it difficult to make significant progress, although I am delighted to join the Chrisfords, Ed Dunlop and William Knight in the Racing League party.
“I think the opening race could be good for us. Spring Bloom was very unlucky at Doncaster, when Robert Cowell entered the race with three entries and he was adamant that the winner of the course was Autumn Flight, although his form this year has not been great.
“Overall, I expect our runners to be very competitive but I feel the fact that we don’t have a full 14 could make it difficult for us to push for the top two.”
Racing League standings after three weeks:
London and South 428 points
Wales and the West 427
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