Good ground forecast at Pontefract for this afternoon’s seven-race card and I hope to see Six Strings (3.45) end a frustrating run of seconds in the mile handicap for horses aged six or over.
The selection should have the race run to suit with Keepup Kevin making all to score over today’s C&D on soft ground here last month when returning from a 280-day lay-off. Pam Sly’s 7-y-old is 6lbs higher this afternoon and has never won from a mark this high, but he would be the one to beat if the rain arrives.
Six Strings has improved since switching to a mile and beyond this term and will need a proper gallop even over this stiff mile having finished second over nine and ten furlongs in recent starts. He is 9lbs higher than when scoring over this trip at Wetherby back in June, but he has continued to run well in defeat in subsequent starts and looks sure to run his race again. There was 15/8 available with William Hill first thing but he is into 6/4 with 10Bet at the time of posting.
Keep It Brief has an unbeaten course record at Kempton and I was surprised to see him put in as big as 12/1 for a third win on polytrack albeit over a furlong further than his two previous course wins. He has been beaten a total of 50L on his last couple of starts on turf but is obviously a different proposition on polytrack although he may find this evening’s additional furlong taxing his stamina.
Chai Yo Power (8.00) is 8lbs higher than when scoring at Lingfield a fortnight ago but that may not prevent him following up such was the ease of that fluent success. This is his first run at Kempton but only his seventh overall and he looked well ahead of his current mark when scoring last time. His draw out in stall eight – of eight – is less than ideal but he looked one to follow until beaten last time.
The most fascinating runner on the card is the brother to the mighty Ghaiyyath Khaiz (8.30) who makes his handicap debut stepped up to 2m for the first time this evening.
The selection is entered in a 2m handicap on turf at Haydock at the weekend, but connections will be aware there is plenty of rain forecast for later in the week and this looks a more suitable opportunity. I am convinced stamina is his forte and he receives 3lbs from last month’s Sandown winner Vino Victrix. The form of that Sandown success has been well and truely franked but this might be more of a speed test and the Godolphin runner is 9/4 from 3s with William Hill at the time of posting.
At Bath Western Alliance (2.45) finished runner up – beaten less than a length – at Newbury trying to give 7lbs to an unexposed horse who is now rated 96. With that in mind the Clive Cox three-year-old colt could be attractively weighted off 92 and he coped with 10f and plenty of cut in the ground last time. Note he raced over 10f at Newbury on the same day as today’s market rival Anmaat and clocked a faster time carrying 7lbs more than the Owen Burrows gelding. The selection is 15/8 with MansionBet.
At Yarmouth this evening Sweet Enough (7.15) steps up to a mile for the first time for John and Thady Gosden having been a fluent winner of a 7f Novice event at Newmarket last time. She would be a confident selection over 7f, but connections must feel the additional furlong is within her compass although she will have to stay as Elvrika looks sure to ensure a decent gallop. The selection is 11/8 with BetVictor.