Levins mulling Marathon bid for Cullentry Royal

Irish raider Cullentry Royal travels over for the £19,000 coral.co.uk Handicap (7.45pm) over an extended mile and a half at Wolverhampton on Friday, February 27.


The seven-year-old won a competitive 14-furlong handicap at Leopardstown in the spring and, since returning from a four-month break, has shaped nicely in a pair of Dundalk handicaps. He was fourth in a 12-furlong contest on January 23 and travelled best of all when beaten a neck over an extended 10 furlongs on February 6.


Trainer Johnny Levins, who is based at The Curragh, said: “Cullentry Royal is in the Fast-Track Qualifier at Lingfield Park on Saturday but he would be wrong at the weights in that race, so it makes sense to go for the handicap.


“He ran well on his return from a break and then stepped up on that last time. I thought he was very unlucky and that will have put him spot on for Friday.


“Hopefully, he can acquit himself well because we have got half an eye on the All-Weather Championships. He is a stayer with speed and we are looking at the Marathon race on Finals Day.


“I think there is more to come from him and his big target in the summer will be the Ascot Stakes at Royal Ascot. He was due to run in it last year but he was a non-runner due to an infection.”


Cullentry Royal, who is set to be partnered by Graham Gibbons, will face five rivals, including Godolphin’s Dream Child (Charlie Appleby/Adam Kirby), who has won three times on the All-Weather this winter, while Mick Appleby saddles Southwell specialist Luv U Whatever (Liam Jones).


Noble Gift (William Knight/Graham Lee), Kings Bayonet (Alan King/Hayley Turner) and Bute Hall (David Thompson/Jimmy Quinn) complete the line-up at Wolverhampton.


The £150,000 32Red Marathon is staged on All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Lingfield Park, Good Friday, April 3.