Main coverage today comes from Kempton, where the most valuable race is at 3.35, when the 888Sport Handicap Chase takes place.
Backed into favouritism at 7-2 is the Alan King trained Talkischeap, a novice making its handicap debut off a mark of 145. Not too difficult to work out why this mark may be on the lenient side, when you consider that the horse has twice tried to give weight to the unbeaten mare La Bague Au Roi, which has a rating of 150+ and, last time out, got within 3 lengths of the 155 rated On The Blind Side giving away 6lbs.
Let’s start, then, with a win bet on this one at the aforementioned 7-2.
Also in this race and trying 3 miles for the first time is the Nicky Henderson trained Rather Be, which looked certain to be fighting out the finish of the BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham before being brought down four out.
Stepping up in trip may well be the making of RB, so we suggest an each way bet here at 13-2.
Televised coverage starts at 1.50 with the 888Sport Pendil Novices’ Chase, which has a select field of four and features a re-match between Bags Groove and Secret Investor. First time they met, Bags came out on top by 9 lengths and a 5lb pull may not be enough to reverse the result, especially as Secret Investor has looked far from a natural as a chaser.
Back Bags Groove to win at 2-1.
The Juvenile event at 2.25 can safely be filed in the ‘haven’t a clue’ drawer, which leads us swiftly on to the Sky Bet Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle at 3.00.
Odds on fav for this is the massively hyped Angels Breath, which, although carrying a penalty, could win by half the track and give Pegasus a run for its money. However, something has to come second (or third) and who knows what may happen.
Step forward Brecon Hill, available each way at a somewhat insulting 50-1.
It’s possible that ‘unfashionable’ trainers are too easily dismissed and there are grounds for thinking that Brecon Hill has a real chance this afternoon.
In trying to give 6lbs to Brewin’upastorm last December, Brecon Hill faced an impossible task, given that the winner is now rated 146, but it did beat Winston C into an eleven length third, again giving weight away. Said Winston C promptly won its next two races and is now rated 137.
Since then Sarah Humphrey‘s star has cantered round on the bridle to win a Class 3 Novice at Leicester and the official mark of 137 looks well on the low side. Running to 140 will get this horse in the frame (at least) so there you have it.
The Vertem Eider Handicap Chase at Newcastle is also being televised at 2.40, with a competitive field of 16 and, with at least 5 places on offer, we will throw three darts at it.
Have each way bets on Just Your Type (7-1), Progress Drive (11-1) and the evergreen Raz De Maree (33-1), sit back and enjoy.
Talkischeap 3.35 Kempton 3pts win @ 7-2
Rather Be 3.35 Kempton 1pt e/w @ 13-2
Bags Groove 1.50 Kempton 4pts win @ 2-1
Brecon Hill 3.00 Kempton 1pt e/w @ 50-1
Just Your Type 2.20 Newcastle 1pt e/w @ 7-1 (5 places)
Progress Drive 2.40 Newcastle 1pt e/w @ 11-1 (5 places)
Raz De Maree 2.40 Newcastle 1/2pt e/w @ 33-1 (5 places)