Sophie's choices widen as Bell snaps up son of Milan
SOPHIE Leech's hopes of building upon the best season of her training career so far have received a boost from her landlord.
She will train a horse for Forest of Dean businessmen Keith Bell for the first time after he forked out £58,000 on the promising Anteros.
The son of leading jumps sire Milan gained a clear-cut win under Gold Cup-winning jockey Andrew Thornton in a bumper at Chepstow in his only race so far.
The performance persuaded Bell and Leech's husband Christian to put the five-year-old on a shortlist of potential purchases at the Brightwells Bloodstock Sales at Cheltenham Racecourse.
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Leech said Anteros had settled in well at Tudor Racing Stables – owned by Bell – in Elton, near Cinderford.
"Milan is a good sire and we spoke to Andrew Thornton and he gave good vibes about him," she said.
"Looking back at the race at Chepstow, he won quite easily.
"We'll probably run him again in about three weeks' time in a bumper.
"After he won at Chepstow Andrew Thornton bandied around the idea of going for the big Aintree bumper and so on, but we'd probably like to give him another run in a small race.
"If he were to win that we could think about Aintree and that sort of thing, but we'll take it step by step.
"He's young and hopefully he'll make a nice novice hurdler, but he's still a little bit green and so we just want to give more experience."
Leech is hoping stable star Mostly Bob can rediscover winning form after a break.
The ten-year-old has won five times, most notably on the New Year's Day card at Cheltenham last year, but has been pulled up in each of his past two races.
Leech said: "He'll be coming back in about a week's time and we'll be looking to run him in about three months
"He may well go hunter chasing because, with his handicap rating, he's banging his head against a break wall a little bit. So to give him a couple of confidence-boosting runs we may go down that route with him."
Leech is targeting a profitable end to the campaign, having already chalked up a career-best 12 winners so far in her first full season at Tudor Racing Stables, where she shares facilities with John O'Shea.
She and her family moved to the yard in October 2011, having previously trained in Devon.
Leech said: "We've been fairly quiet through the winter – a lot of our horses want better ground and there hasn't even been a sniff of it.
"But we're still hoping to get up towards 20 winners by the end of the season.
"We've got 20 to run in the next three weeks and that's the strongest number we've had."