Good ground forecast at Kempton for today’s seven-race card. Only six go to post for the novices’ handicap chase but they all have a realistic chance. Non more so perhaps than Valsheda (1.45) who was still going well when coming down steeply on landing and falling at the last fence on the far side at Newbury on his chase debut.
The selection – 7/4 from 2s with William Hill – was a winner at Exeter on his second start over hurdles and did show a tendency to jump slightly out to his right last time. This track should suit, and I hope to see Nico De Boinville have his mount near or on the lead although Jamie Moore is likely to try and make all on Eragon De Chanay having adopted similar tactics when scoring at Wincanton from a 7lbs lower mark last time.
Killer Kane won his sole race between the flags, and he steps up to three miles for the first time this afternoon. He is well handicapped on the best of his hurdles form, but I have never thought he was crying out for a step up to this trip under rules.
Cap St Vincent (2.20) will appreciate underfoot conditions and can make a winning start for Fergal O’Brien. The selection was given a wind procedure last month and he has a history of going well fresh Conor Brace takes over in the saddle with stable jockey Paddy Brennan going to Bangor-on-Dee for just the one ride in the handicap chase over 3m 5f. There was 6/4 about on Thursday evenning but he is a best price of 10/11 with Boylesports at the time of posting.
The three-mile handicap chase is a belter, but I do think that Ofalltheginjoints (4.05) is potentially very well handicapped at present having been dropped 13lbs since the start of last season. His best run this season came in the valuable Badger Beer Chase at Wincanton when he looked sure to play a part in the finish only to go out like a light going to three out.
Colin Tizzard has given his 8-y-old a wind operation since his last start and he has a good record when fresh. He has been given ten weeks off since disappointing at Newbury last time, but I do feel he remains a horse capable of winning a decent prize in the next couple of seasons.The ew recommendation is 14s with William Hill.
The headline horse at Bangor-on-Dee is last year’s Cheltenham Foxhunters’ winner Porlock Bay who can return to winning ways having been beaten in a point-to-point by the promising hunter Premier Magic over Christmas. Somehow there was 11/10 about on Thursday evening but he is into a best price of 4/6 at the time of posting.
It has been a disappointing winter for local trainer Oliver Greenall having had such an excellent spring, but he had a horse run well at Sedgefield earlier in the week and I hope Ecossais (2.30) can give him his first winner of the year.
The ew selection _ 5/1 with Boylesports – is down to his last winning mark and will be fresher than most having been off the course since finishing runner up over today’s trip of 3m 5f at Fakenham back in December. Pennyforapound will appreciate the return to a left-hand track and he and Don Herbager are considered the main dangers.
Jungle Jack (4.15) must give 10lbs to his seven rivals in the 2m NH Novices’ Hurdle, but I think he will be up to the task although I was hoping that Donald McCain would aim his unbeaten novice at a valuable handicap as he might be up to defying an opening mark of 123.
The selection – Even money wth William Hill – is unbeaten in all three starts having won his sole point before scoring at Sedgefield and Haydock. Duke Of Rockingham won a Uttoxeter Bumper on his reappearance and has just lost out in his two starts over hurdles. He will be winning races sooner rather than later and is one of just two mounts on the card for Aidan Coleman whose last three mounts, at the time of writing, have all been winners.