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Kempton ITV Racing Preview

Hi all,

Inside today’s main piece I’m previewing four races from Kempton.

Plenty of competitive racing on Saturday to get stuck into. There are now eight races live on ITV Saturday afternoon. Five are from Kempton, two from Southwell, including the Winter Derby, and the Eider Chase at Newcastle.  Kempton’s extra race is the Coral Racing Club Handicap Hurdle (1:15). It’s a race I wasn’t anticipating analyzing at but looks likely to provide the biggest field of the Kempton card.

Kempton

I covered the Coral Trophy Handicap Chase (3:37) in Thursday’s column so I won’t go over old ground again. One of my final race selections wasn’t mentioned in the preview, which maybe a mistake or it could prove be an inspired pick. If you want my selections for that race and until the end of March, you can still get them here for just £19.99.

Get All of John's Selections

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1:15 – Coral Racing Club Handicap Hurdle (Class 3) (

Top weight Pentland Hills isn’t the same horse as when winning the Triumph Hurdle as a juvenile in 2019. However, there was more to like about his 1 ¾ length 2nd of 9 at Doncaster last time. That was the 9-year-old’s first start for 11 months and he should be sharper for that run. He wouldn’t want the ground to be too testing with good to soft ideal.

Samuel Spade looked like an improver when winning a Taunton handicap hurdle two starts back. Struggled up in class in the Lanzarote here last time but is back in calmer waters here for a yard among the winners.

Chris Gordon saddled the 2022 winner of this race, so you must consider his runner Sea Invasion. The 6-year-old is one of the least exposed of the line-up having had just three starts over hurdles. He posted a career best last time when a 5 ½ length 4th of 10 here (2m). He shaped like a step up in trip would suit last time and mark of 114 on handicap hurdle looks workable. Soft ground would be a bit of an unknown though.

1:50 – Coral Adonis Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2) – 2m

Five of the six runners are last time out winners.

On Course Profits free Horse Racing magazine

Kalif Du Berlais looked a high class prospect when making it 2-2 over hurdles stable debut for Paul Nicholls over C&D last month. Open to plenty of improvement and clear claims but plenty short enough in the betting.

Givemefive also made it 2-2 over hurdles when winning at Warwick last month. He jumped neatly for a juvenile last time and is another open to further improvement.

Peking Opera, trained on the flat by Aidan O’Brien, made a successful start to his hurdling career when winning at Sandown three weeks ago. There should be more to come from him with experience.

Captain Marvellous is having his first start since winning over C&D 89 days ago. Should do even better with better jumping. He’s another to consider in an intriguing renewal of the race.

2:27 – Coral Pendil Novices' Chase (Grade 2) – 2m 4 ½ f

Another small field Graded contest with five set to meet the starter.

Blow Your Wad got off the mark at the second attempt over fences when winning a C&D handicap on Boxing Day. Below par and not looking like he was suited to Cheltenham last time. Likely to bounce back returned to a flatter track and the first time cheekpieces are applied.

Tahmuras improved for the fitting of the cheekpieces when winning at Aintree on Boxing Day. Ran just as well when a 1 ¼ length 2nd of 3 at Exeter last time. Had looked set to win when hanging left on the run in that day which must be slight concern here. On the plus side trainer Paul Nicholls has an exceptional record in the race – 11 winners from 17 runners 68% +13.8, 12 placed since 2008.

Arclight has won all three starts over fences improving her RPR’s with each run. Her jumping was excellent when winning at Wincanton last time and although she’s got to improve to win this stepped into a Graded company there’s every chance the 5-year-old can. Really testing ground would be an unknown but she gets a useful age and mares allowance from her rivals.

3:00 – Coral Dovecote Novices' Hurdle (Grade 2) – 2m

Another race that Paul Nicholls has targeted. Since 2008 he’s had 4 winners from 17 runners 24% +12.42, 8 placed.  He saddles recent Musselburgh score Panjari. The 6-year-old seemed to improve for the fitting of the first time cheekpieces last time and can’t be totally dismissed although he must give 3lb to his seven rivals.

Lump Sum and Fiercely Proud were separated by ¾ length when second and third to Jeriko du Reponet in a similar race at Doncaster last month. Neither looked particularly suited to a slowly run race last time and must be respected here. Lump Sum looks open to the more improvement of the pair, but both have claims.

Secret Squirrel got as close to Jeriko du Reponet, as Fiercely Proud did, when runner-up to that one at Newbury two starts back. Runner-up again last time at Taunton but he’s a previous C&D winner and can’t be ruled out. 

Could Be Last Horse Standing in Eider Chase

It’s currently heavy, soft in places, at Newcastle for Eider Chase Day. They haven’t had as much rain as feared in the last few days so it could be soft all round come race time. Even if it is soft the race will be a real test of stamina. There will be few finishers and it may turn out to be a tough watch.

Do you go with a thorough exposed stayer, or do you opt for horses that are going the right way and have the potential to better over a longer distance?  

I will let you know in Monday’s column how I played the race. And, no it won’t be after timing as my two picks have been sent out to Victor Value subscribers.

Saturday Selection:

Onto today’s selection and it goes in the first race live on ITV. Despite slight ground reservations I’ve gone with handicap debutant Sea Invasion.

Kempton

1:15 – Sea Invasion – 11/2 @ bigger.

Good luck with your Saturday bets.

John

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