After a bit of a dim week, better class racing returns today with the meetings at Kempton and Warwick covered by the TV cameras.
Highlight of the Kempers meeting is the Unibet Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle at 2.40, which has a field of 14, headed by the Gary Moore trained Kloud Gate, owned by someone who can’t spell.
This 7-y-o has been a revelation since switching to hurdles, winning handicaps off marks of 108 and 115 with consummate ease. As ever, the handicapper has taken remedial action and 127 is the mark today in a much better race. On the grounds that today’s event is a different cauldron of tuna, we pass and, instead, recommend an each way punt on Lord Napier at 11-2.
Peter Bowen’s charge hasn’t made the frame in three starts this season, but those runs have been over 2m, which is much too short and this talented novice can show the others a clean pair of hooves over the right trip this afternoon.
The 32Red Casino Chase at 2.05 kicks off the televised action and this 5-runner Listed race looks a match between Charbel and Top Notch.
Good as Top Notch is, we think Charbel is much improved this season and has learned how to win, so we suggest a win bet at 13-8.
The Unibet Handicap Chase at 3.15 has a field of 7 and we have no hesitation in nominating our old friend Barney Dwan as the way to go.
Available at 7-2 (third in), Barney made an entirely satisfactory reappearance when third at Bangor and can take care of this lot off a workable 141.
4 races are covered at Warwick, the most valuable being the McCoy Contractors Civil Engineering Classic Handicap Chase at 3.00.
We think Neil Mulholland holds the key to this race, with his two runners both possessing sound each way chances. Each way bets on both Carole’s Destrier at 11-1 and Impulsive Star at 15-2 are recommended.
The 1.50 Novices’ Chase, the title of which we can’t be asked to type, has just 4 runners, all in with a chance and we are ‘no bet’ for this one.
The Ballymore Leamington Novices’ Hurdle at 2.25 has a small, but select, field of 6, with Tidal Flow the favourite at a skinny 6-5. On official ratings, this unbeaten hurdler should win, but we think the assessor has underestimated Stoney Mountain and put this Henry Daley runner up as the bet at a more palatable 3-1.
The Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle at 3.35 has a field of 10 and we have narrowed it down to two, both at each way odds.
Notwhatiam for the Skeltons and Lungarno Palace for that man Fergal are the two beasties in question and they can, and should, be backed each way at 11-2 and 6-1 respectively.
C’est tout, mes amis.
Lord Napier 2.40 Kempton 2pts e/w @ 11-2 (4 places)
Charbel 2.05 Kempton 4pts win @ 13-8
Barney Dwan 3.15 Kempton 2pts win @ 7-2
Carole’s Destrier 3.00 Warwick 1pt e/w @ 11-1 (4 places)
Impulsive Star 3.00 Warwick 1pt e/w @ 15-2 (4 places)
Stoney Mountain 2.25 Warwick 4pts win @ 3-1
Notwhatiam 3.35 Warwick 1pt e/w @ 11-2
Lungarno Palace 3.35 Warwick 2pts e/w @ 6-1