Paul Nicholls’ yard is in fine fettle and Seymour Biz reckons his Lethal Force-sired gelding has what it takes to land the Grade 2, at Kempton on Saturday. With the 2019 Cheltenham Festival foremost in all of our minds, here are his selections for your weekend Lucky 15 bet.
You can find all recent analysis and previews from Seymour Biz in his weekly Saturday Horse Racing Tips column.
After last week’s extravaganza we have slightly more meagre fare on offer this Saturday, however there are some fancied horses at decent prices on offer. There are three meetings being televised this week including one on the all-weather at Lingfield that includes the Winter Derby which has an incredibly short priced favourite. So I think I will be leaving those alone and concentrating on the two jumps meetings at Kempton and Newcastle. The latter features the Eider Chase over the redesigned chase course, altered to accommodate the all-weather track. Considered a Grand National Trial, but it hasn’t produced a winner of the big event since Comply or Die back in 2008 and I’m not sure I can see anything in the field who can emulate his performance. Kempton has a couple of decent chases on the card and a juvenile hurdle, all three races look like they have good betting opportunities. So here are my thoughts for this week’s televised races.
The first televised race at Kempton is the 888Sport Pendil Novices Chase and Paul Nicholls has a very strong hand here looking to follow up on his eight winners a week ago. His highest in the weights is Amour De Nuit, a beaten favourite in his last two contests. He ran really poorly last time here at Kempton after previously only going down by half a length to Desirable Court at Doncaster, I think he is best watched. He has Capeland entered who has run eight races this year and has never been out of the first two, winning three. That is what I call consistent, but he finished with an injury in his last race at the beginning of January and I wonder if he’s got over that. Nicholls’s third entrant is Secret Investor who is probably the best of the three. After two wins earlier in the year, he has finished second twice but on both occasions he has made mistakes towards the end of the race. If Nicholls has worked with him to iron out these errors he could be the answer here. Among his challengers is Bags Groove who beat the selection at Wincanton in November but he has not run well on his last two outings at this course and has a 5lbs penalty. Castafiore looks interesting, the mare from Charlie Longsdon’s yard, has won her last two, the latest at Haydock was a fine win and with her mares allowance she could trouble the selection.
At 2.25 is the 888Sport Adonis Juvenile Hurdle, a two mile Grade 2 that is a good Triumph Hurdle Trial. The bookies choice here is Fusil Raffles, a French import having his first start in this country, he could be anything but he hasn’t run since last July and is best watched. Beat The Judge is a course and distance winner but went down to Belarus at Ascot last time beaten over 16 lengths, that was a poor effort. Giving Glances runs for Alan King who says he wants to get a run into her before the Fred Winter after her Doncaster victory in January. Tom Symonds has Song For Someone entered. The gelding has had a great season to date with two wins from five runs, he has never been out of the frame. In his latest run at Newbury at the end of December he came home unchallenged and can go well here. However the one I like is another from Paul Nicholls’s yard, Red Force One won three times on the flat for Tom Dascombe in the summer and has run on the all-weather for Nicholls only going down by a nose. He has a Triumph entry and it is reported he is working well at home and will take well to the new code.
The 888Sport Handicap Chase is at 3.35,a Grade 3 over 3 miles. Top weight is Nicky Henderson’s Janika, another French import who came over with very good credentials but has been unable to justify favouritism on his two starts in this country finding one too good on both occasions. I am tempted to give Double Shuffle another chance but he looks rather high in the weights and has not won for over two years. Alan King says Talkischeap may bypass the Festival, he was second over this course and distance last time out and this race race looks the novice’s seasons target. Glen Rocco is the bookmakers choice winning over the course and distance last time by a massive 23 lengths, he has a penalty for that and that may hold him back. Again Paul Nicholls has a strong hand the best of which could be Adrienne Du Pont after his victory here over Christmas, but he is high in the weights. At a big price Catarmaran Du Seuil may run a big race for Dr Richard Newland who ran a fine second to Calipto last time at Wincanton, the winner has a penalty for that victory and Newland’s charge should reverse the placings. He may well be the one to trouble the selection, Talkischeap.
Moving north to Newcastle we have the Vertem Eider Handicap Chase at 2.40. Sue Smith has the market leader here with Sharp Response, a winner last time out at Catterick however this is a major step up in class. David Pipe sidestepped the National Trial last week with Daklondike to run him here. He wants soft/heavy going and may not get it also he has never won over further than 3m 2f, so 4 miles may be too much for him at this stage of his career. Vincente has not won for two years and does not seem like his old self. I like Lucinda Russell’s Big River and he would be a popular winner for the local trainer however he fell here in December and does not seem the same horse when running anywhere but Kelso. Angel Des Malberaux is a different horse this season for Dan Skelton with five victories so far but this is a major step up in class and distance for him. One horse who was very unlucky in this race last year is Henry Daly’s Back To The Thatch who fell at the 16th fence when cruising. He can make amends here. Baywing who won that day returns but the ten year old has 7lbs more to carry than he did last year and that may prevent him carrying off the prize again. I will give a mention to Rock On Fruity from Ben Haslam’s small yard, he won here last time out over 3m four weeks ago and while the distance may not suit him, it would be great for the stable if he can run into a place.
Saturday Lucky 15
1.50 Kempton. Secret Investor
2.25 Kempton. Red Force One
3.35 Kempton. Talkischeap
2.40 Newcastle. Back To The Thatch