The completely forgotten Dorothy Moore provides our musical headline today, with fog potentially ruining a great day’s racing. Kempton are holding a third inspection at 11.20, the track being deemed unraceable at 8.00 am.
In the hope that the zephyrs are kind enough to permit the meeting to go ahead, we’ll crack on regardless and start with the Coral Handicap Chase at 1.32.
Our selection is the lightly raced and improving Foxboro from Robert Walford‘s in form yard. This 7-y-o pouched two hurdle races in France before joining this stable and has improved with each of three chase runs this season, being beaten just half a length last time out. With the capable Angus Cheleda taking off a valuable 5lbs, this horse is weighted to win and we hope it does at 7-2.
The Coral Silviniaco Conti Chase at 2.05 has just four runners but is a very trappy affair. Eldorado Allen has the best recent form but carries a penalty, as does Mr Fisher, which has the highest rating but who’s current well-being is unknown. Defi Du Seuil would win this turning proverbial handsprings if it were ever to recapture its form of two years ago and Paul Nicholls is sweet on the chances of his new recruit Rouge Vif.
All that is a long winded way of saying ‘no bet’, so we’ll move on to the simple matter of the 20 runner Coral Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle at 2.40.
We wouldn’t dream of mentioning that we selected the 66-1 winner of this race last year and we doubt the winner will be a similar price today.
Our two against the field are the still improving and highly regarded Marie’s Rock and the Paul Nicholls trained Novice, Gelino Bello.
Hopefully these two will give us a run for the hard-earned and suggest each way bets at 13-2 and 15-2.
Final televised race from Kempton is the 3.15, also a Coral Handicap Chase, and in this we select Kitty’s Light.
This 6-y-o showed distinct signs of returning to its best form last time out over today’s CD and, with a helpful 4lb drop by the handicapper, the Mad Welshman‘s charge should be backed at an attractive 5-1.
The meeting at Warwick has survived a morning inspection and five races are on offer, starting with the Edward Courage Cup Handicap Chase at 1.18.
Just four runners in this and we put our faith in the class act called Sky Pirate. Jonjo‘s 9-y-o may not appear to be well handicapped off a mark of 157 and has to give lumps of weight to his three opponents, but last year’s winner may well be up to the task. Back it at 100-30.
The Hampton Novices Chase at 1.50 appears at the mercy of Threeunderthrufive, but at 4-7 we pass.
At 2.25 is the Ballymore Leamington Novices’ Hurdle, a Grade 2 event and we give a confident shout to Party Business.
Having easily taken a Class 3 at Ascot, Ian Williams‘ 6-y-o looked about to bustle up the unbeaten Stage Star in the Challow only to go butt over mammary at the second last. Time to make amends at 4-1.
Feature on the card is the Classic Handicap Chase at 3.00, which has a field of 15 and we have two darts to throw, starting with Padleyourowncanoe.
Having to leave a letter out to comply with the regs shouldn’t detract from this 8-y-o’s chances, having its second run for the Skeltons after leaving Colin Tizzard.
The promising third over hurdles four weeks ago was the horse’s first outing for fifteen months and an ideal prep for this afternoon. The equation (Skelton + Warwick) = winner may well apply and we should invest at 8-1.
Our other pick is the unconsidered Game Line which can be backed at 33-1.
Peter Bowen‘s 8-y-o gets in dead on the button with 10 stone, stays all day and came right back to form last time out. Give it a whirl.
Last and possibly least is the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle at 3.35, in which the first six home qualify to run in the final at Cheltenham. With just seven runners, there must be a query as to who wants to win this and we think the answer is the Skelton runner Riggs.
Second in a valuable event at Haydock last time out, connections will be happy to get a win on the board and we recommend a bet at 9-4.
Here’s hoping for a divine wind.
Foxboro 1.32 Kempton 2pts win @ 7-2
Marie’s Rock 2.40 Kempton 1pt e/w @ 13-2 (7 places Skybet)
Gelino Bello 2.40 Kempton 1pt e/w @ 15-2 (7 places Skybet)
Kitty’s Light 1.5pts e/w @ 5-1
Sky Pirate 1.18 Warwick 2pts win @ 100-30
Party Business 2.25 Warwick 2pts win @ 4-1
Padleyourowncanoe 3.00 Warwick 1pt e/w @ 8-1 (5 places)
Game Line 3.00 Warwick 1pt e/w @ 33-1 (5 places)
Riggs 3.35 Warwick 3pts win @ 9-4