Last Saturday saw a bog of welcome profit for the blog with the win double of LIFEBOAT MONA and GARDE LA VICTOIRE going in. Let’s hope there is more to come today and I’m hopeful of a big run in a race where I have a cracking record over recent years.
The Lanzarote Hurdle is the feature race of the day at Kempton. What a shocker that was this week with the news of this course’s potential closure. While the investment and ideas of the Jockey Club sound reasonable you can’t close a track with the history Kempton has. Let’s hope the council and arguments from the racing paternity stop it, if it goes through we may see similar issues with NH venues. So, to the race itself. I do think OLD GUARD has another big race in him, possibly at the festival, but not today off this weight! DOESYOURDOGBITE won nicely last time, despite running in snatches but this is his biggest test to date. BENNYS KING doesn’t know how to run a bad race and should be thereabouts but the one who catches my eye is one who meets a lot of then trends for this race. CHESTERFIELD ran a cracker behind BRAIN POWER last time after a long absence, showing me some of his old class and potential remain. He was developing into a decent looking hurdler for John Ferguson before the lay off and indeed he was going well here when falling at the last in his penultimate run. He’s been well supported all morning and the current 8-1 from BETY365 is worth snapping up.
In the 32RED.com chase SANDY BEACH steps up in trip to 3m. He looked very good last time when beating ERICHT at Newbury in November and if he stays he will run a big race. KRUZHLININ went in for me on the blog last time at Haydock and he stayed very well up that hill. He’s a previous winner of this and despite being raised 10lbs to a mark of OR146, I still think that’s short of what he could be. The revert to hurdles was to put some confidence in his jumping after facing the big National fences. I think the hurdles and the confidence of his last win will have sharpened his jumping up. He stays forever and ion he jumps he wins I think.
I have put up the last three winners of the Pertemps Hurdle at Warwick on the blog. FLINTHAM, JOIN THE CLAN and UNCLE JIMMY and it’s also where HOLYWELL caught my eye for his festival win. Warwick is an interesting course, and is generally quite easy to get a rhythm but in this race you tend to need to be up with the pace, a strongly run front end can leave the others caught too far behind, so it pays to go with a pace pusher who can stay. LOUGH DERG LEADER could be very smart and he looked it last time, but he came from off the pace, that puts me off him today and this is his biggest test to date. COGRY came back to form last time, but it was a nothing race and the change in conditions helped him but not his rivals. I’m opting for SAINT JOHN HENRY; he’s a nice weight for a 3m contest and he made all here last time, and course and distance form helps here. He’s been raised 7lbs for that win and I think he has another big race in him. The ground will suit and he needs to win this well for me to have a competitive chance in the final at the festival, so I reckon they’ll go for it with him and hit them hard from the front. Let’s hope he stays if they do that!
The Betfred Classic chase is a beauty. 20 old timers going at time over £3m6f – awesome! SEGO SUCCESS flatters to deceive but the first time blinkers may help, but I doubt it. KNOCKANRAWLEY was developing into a smart stayer before the lay off and I doubt he can be competitive back from a monster break, but his a notebook horse for the next race or two. SHOTGUN PADDY has showed a few glimpses but again he just doesn’t deliver when push comes to shove. I’m opting for HOUBLON DES OBEAUX, he ran a cracker behind NATIVE RIVER in the Welsh National last time, he has got a lot of weight but has carried it before. Charlie Deutch’s 3lbs will help and despite being 6lbs higher than when running in this last year he’s in much better form. He’s won off this mark before, will love the ground and he catches the eye a full 19lb lower than when running behind THE YOUNG MASTER and then CONEYGREE in the Denman Chase. You need a bit of class to win this, he has class and will run a cracker.
HOUBLON DES OBEAUX 3:35 WARWICK £5 win 14-1 William Hill
SAINT JOHN HENRY 2:25 Warwick £5 e\w 12-1 William Hill
KRUZHLININ 3:15 Kempton £5 win 5-1 Bet365