With the jumps card at Leicester called off because of the persistent rains we focus on Kempton’s twilight card this evening safe in the assumption that the meeting will go ahead.
The finale a mile handicap is the most valuable race on the card and sees Examiner attempt to confirm recent Lingfield form with Jalingo (3lb better off) and Truancy (11lbs better off including jockey’s claim) and it is the latter who I give the nod to on the revised terms.
Examiner was well on top at Lingfield last time but he had the run of the race whilst Truancy became unbalanced when making his challenge at the top of the straight and the Karl Burke runner, who settled much better on that occasion than he had in previous starts, can reverse the form.
Jockey Joe Fanning and trainer Mark Johnston have been carrying all before them of late and Jalingo will be popular but I just feel 7f might be his trip and a bigger danger might come from the twice-raced War Of Art who left his modest debut effort behind when landing his maiden earlier in the month. Only six go to post but a terrific contest.
The other feature event is the 7f handicap and everything dropped right for Nassau Storm at Lingfield last time, after a frustrating sequence, but he will do well to follow up under a 6lb penalty given he has the worst of the draw.
There should be plenty of pace with Tasrih and Firmdecisions both likely pace-setters but the two I am keen on are Smokethatthunders (6lbs better off with Nassau Storm for a half a length beating last time) and Emkanaat (6.50) and the latter is a marginal preference although I must admit I am not too familiar with apprentice David Kenny. The selection is tough, consistent and should have the race run to suit from his excellent draw in stall 1.
In the opener Kyle of Bute (4.50) is a Wolverhampton specialist but escapes a penalty for his recent apprentice success at Dunstall Park, has a cracking draw in stall two and confirm recent form with Kevin Ryan’s Bapak Pesta with Jamie Spencer taking over in the saddle. No guaranteed pace in the 10f handicap which tempers confidence about the chances of Poitin (5.20) who has been knocking on the door of late for Harry Dunlop and had the third 6l back when runner up over 12f here in the BetVictor Non Runner Free Bet Cheltenham 2014 Handicap last Thursday. I’m not convinced the drop down in trip is a plus but hope to see jockey Tom Queally make plenty of use of his charge and let’s hope Serenity Spa, who has made the running in the past, makes sure there is no hanging about.
The booking of Spencer for Starbotton (5.50) looks significant with the mare hinting that she was coming into a bit of form in her last couple of starts. The filly likes to race prominently but there are at least two others (Strategic Action and Mucky Molly) who like to race prominently and let’s hope the selection doesn’t get embroiled in a battle for the lead.
Between the pair Pool House and Taquka (6.20) have finished second or third in all nine of their career starts but the latter can break the sequence and land his maiden at the fifth attempt. Pool House has been a beaten favourite on his last four starts including at 2/5 and 4/5 so has obviously been showing plenty at home for Andrew Balding but I just favour Taguka despite the fact that he is making his all-weather debut. Both are returning from a break but the hope is the selection will improve for the additional furlong having raced at the minimum 5f trip on his previous runs. For all your racing odds check out BetVictor.com