There is rain forecast at Newmarket overnight on Tuesday and conditions are likely to ease from the official description of good – good to firm in places.
The horse I am most looking forward to seeing on the card is Al Nafir who finished runner up over the Rowley Mile for Charlie Appleby and William Buick. The 2-y-old is a full brother to the brilliant Ghaiyyath and the step up to 10f should suit. He can confirm the placings with Ed Dunlop’s Laatansa who was only a neck behind the selection last time, but the Shadwell colt had previous racecourse experience. He was well backed this afternoon and is a best price of 4/6 at time of posting – best watched.
Note Oisin Murphy has an excellent book of rides at Kempton this evening and, with Frankie Dettori having gone to ground after a weekend to forget, Adam Kirby gets a rare ride for John and Thady Gosden aboard the well-bred newcomer March Moon.
At Worcester I hope to see the 4-y-old Saint Palais (2.13) run a big race on his British chase debut for Richard Bandey. The trainer wastes little time in getting this brother to staying chaser Lord Du Mesnil over the larger obstacles and his breeding suggests he will improve for the step up to three miles for the first time. Note the selection did run over fences as a 3-y-old in his native France. Somehow there was 7/1 available first thing but he is a best price of 9/4 with Boylesports at the time of posting. He is likely to drift out to about 7/2 come post time.
Head On will appreciate the return to a left-hand track after disappointing at Perth last time and looks a big price at 12/1 but I do feel there are races to be won with Saint Palais over fences and the 11lbs weight-for-age allowance for four-year-olds receive from the older horses is a huge plus.
It is only the stable form of Sam Allwood that prevents me recommending an interest in Out On The Tear in the handicap chase in memory of Fred & Mercy Rimell. There is more to come from the 7-year-old this term but the yard’s three runners in the last fortnight have all finished tailed off.
There is a terrific 2m 3f+ handicap hurdle at Fontwell and Gary Moore will hope that Haddex Des Obeaux (2.30) settles a bit better than was the case on his British debut here at the beginning of the month when he refused to drop his head and was readily picked off from the last. If he is more amenable to restraint, I believe he is up to defying a mark of 120.
The selection is 7/2 with William Hill with the early market mover Champagne Court who is extremely well handicapped on his chase form, but was largely out of sorts last season believe me. I supported him on more than one occasion.
Do look out for a market move for Fortune’s Melody who finished runner up in her last three starts including her last couple since joining Harry Fry. The handler had a poor time last season, but he had a welcome winner at Market Rasen at the weekend and this French import won a listed 3-y-old hurdle at Auteuil last September. Champagne Court, Addici and No Risk Des Flos are others to consider in a hot contest.
In the near 2m 2f handicap chase I hope to see the former Hunter Chaser Creative Inerta (1.55) run a big race despite the steadier of 12 stone. The selection may have just needed the run on his handicap debut – following a 4 month lay-off – at Warwick last time and I hope to see Ben Jones make plenty of use of his 11-year-old who was awarded a race in the Stewards’ Room at Stratford in the spring when the winner carried the wrong weight.
The 15/2 with William Hill was the wrong price and he is a best price of 9/2 with the same firm on Tuesday evening.
I think you can put a line through the last run of Wodeton (7.00) at Salisbury when he was keen to post and unseated Hollie Doyle. Oisin Murphy was in the saddle when the colt finished runner up at Sandown on debut and the champion jockey returns to the plate this evening at Kempton. Note the each way selection – 11/2 with MansionBet – is a half-brother to a couple of all-weather winners.