There is a cracking card at Kempton this evening sponsored by BetVictor beginning with a fascinating mile handicap where I take Self Employed (5.55) to follow up his recent C&D success under a 6lb penalty.
The time was nothing out of the ordinary for the selection last time but he travelled like much the best horse in the race and is still well treated on the best of his flat form.
Never To Be looked an unlucky loser over 7f here when last seen back in October and the step up to a mile looks sure to suit but I was advised on the morning of the race that Passing Star was an above average juvenile for Charlie Hills and Robert Winston travelled to Lingfield for just the one winning ride.
The handicapper has given him an opening mark of 75 and the third has already franked the form by landing the odds over today’s C&D last month.
The selection didn’t look short of pace over 7f last time but the step up to a mile should suit and he is entitled to come on for his initial experience. Winston again takes the mount and I would be disappointed if he didn’t go very close to maintaining his unbeaten record.
The well bred filly Bereka (7.25) can land her maiden at the third time of asking in the 6f maiden. The selection has not had the best of luck on either start but this looks an ideal opportunity for the yard of James Tate whose Newmarket string are in such fine form.
At Carlisle Volcanic (3.15) can score for Donald McCain and Jason Maguire making his British debut. The selection was a dual winner in the French provinces and wouldn’t have to anything special to make a winning British debut over timber.
Edmund (3.45) may have bumped into a very well handicapped horse when pushed aside by Indian Voyage over C&D last time and he can run off the same mark this afternoon.
Wilson Renwick has only ridden the horse twice but once was when scoring at Newcastle, his only career success to date, back in December and he remains open to further improvement.
At Wincanton I’m not convinced the David Pipe horses were in the best of form when Volt Face (2.30) folded tamely last time but it still goes down as a disappointing effort.
Off the track over two months and with a hood applied for the first time he is taken to land Wincanton’s opener for a yard who can do little wrong at present.
Quaddick Lake (3.35) is beginning to look very well handicapped for Jeremy Scott whose stable star Melodic Rendezvous will not appreciate the drying ground at Cheltenham next week.
At 11 years-of-age he is not getting any younger, who is apart from Cliff, but his young conditional takes off a valuable 10lbs and he can show he is no back number in a tight little contest.
We were delighted yesterday when leading odds comparison site Oddschecker announced that BetVictor were the bookmaker offering best value on the day of the race at the Cheltenham Festival in 2013. We are looking for more of the same next week.
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