No, not a reference to the pandemic, but a comment about the absence of the word ‘heavy’ in the going descriptions of both today’s televised jump meetings.

Perfect jumping ground for the main meeting at Kempton, with four races to get our gnashers into, starting with the Close Brothers Pendil Novices’ Chase at 1.50, which has a line up of just 4.

Favourite for the race is the Paul Nicholls‘s trained Tamaroc Du Mathan, last seen getting a distant view of Shiskin‘s backside in December.

At a shade of odds-on and a new trip, we’ll take this one on by suggesting a bet on our young friend Ga Law at 7-4.

Jamie Snowden‘s 5-y-o was taken off its hooves trying to keep up with Allmankind over two miles at Sandown when last seen in early December and will be ideally suited reverting to its winning trip and on better ground.

Triumph Hurdler aspirants are on view in the Close Brothers Adonis Juvenile Hurdle at 2.25 with all eyes on Alan King‘s Tritonic, which is as short as 8-1 for the big event and has to win well today to justify those odds.

In truth, we think this 99 rated Flat racer will do just that on its second appearance over obstacles. Adrien Heskin‘s mount made a successful debut at Ascot at the end of January and both horse and jockey should have learned bundles from the experience. Have a decent bet at the available 11-10.

We also suggest a ‘saver’ on Soldier On Parade from the Amy Murphy yard. Fighting fit from a Flat win just 8 days ago, this gutsy gelding rattled up a hat-trick last autumn and looks overpriced at 25-1.

At 3.00 it’s the turn of the older Novices in the Sky Bet Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle and we think that Atholl Street is nailed on to take this.

Unbeaten in two hurdle runs, Paul Nicholls‘ 6-y-o has been saved for this race and gets the ground that favours, so what’s not to like?

Well, probably the price, but, come 3.10 pm the 7-4 on offer may look huge, so we advise a decent bash.

The statutory ‘one for the bookmakers’ handicap is at 3.35, this time called the Close Brothers Handicap Chase, which has a field of 17.

At 13-2 the field, this is anyone’s guess and our two guesses are The Butcher Said (11-1) and Young Wolf (16-1). Stranger things have happened.

ITV cameras are also at Newcastle, where they are covering the Vertem Eider Handicap Chase over 4m 2f, with 12 runners due to go to post.

Extreme distances always bring in the unknown, but the two with (we think) the best chances are Salty Boy which appears to need 6 miles and Strong Economy, which doesn’t start to warm up until the 3 mile marker.

Back SB to win at 9-2 and SE each way at 11s.

As an additional treat(?) the Betway Winter Derby Stakes at 2.40 is also on telly from Leafy, with a disappointing turn out of just five.

This is likely to be ultra tactical, with no obvious front runner and it is possible that Robert Havlin will grasp the hypothetical nettle on Forest Of Dean and outride ’em from the front. That’s the theory, anyway, so we will venture a cautious each way bet at 9-2.

That’s it for today – au revoir.


Ga Law 1.50 Kempton 4pts win @ 7-4

Tritonic 2.25 Kempton 6pts win @ 11-10

Soldier On Parade 2.25 Kempton 0.5pts e/w @ 25-1

Atholl Street 3.00 Kempton 6pts win @ 7-4

The Butcher Said 3.35 Kempton 1pt e/w @ 11-1 (5 places Hills)

Young Wolf 3.35 Kempton 1pt e/w @ 16-1 (5 places Coral)

Salty Boy 3.15 Newcastle 2pts win @ 9-2

Strong Economy 3.15 Newcastle 1pt e/w @ 11-1 (5 places Skybet)

Forest Of Dean 2.40 Lingfield 1.5 pts e/w @ 9-2 (2 places)

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