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Lancashire Telegraph Racing Column
7:00am Tuesday 1st April 2014 in Sport
Sporting Gold can reverse recent form with Swift Blade and claim victory in the Betdaq - The Sports Betting Exchange Handicap at Kempton.
Roger Varian’s charge meets his old adversary on 2lb better terms here and has every chance of avenging his short-head defeat at this track in early March.
Lightly-raced for a five-year-old, Sporting Gold was returning from over three months off and sporting first-time blinkers as he just failed to peg back the race-fit Swift Blade.
That was a decent effort given he was conceding weight and while he has been put up 2lb in the ratings for that run, Swift Blade will be contending with a 4lb hike here.
Sporting Gold is on a career-high mark at present but he still appears to be improving and his progression can continue with a first success of 2014.
The Flat season proper is now underway and Sir Michael Stoute can get off to a flying start with a double courtesy of Economy and Tall Ship.
Economy takes his chance in the Betdaq No Premium Charge Maiden Stakes as he tries to make up for lost time.
He has clearly not been easy to train with just one run under his belt as a four-year-old, but he showed enough in finishing second that day to suggest is a horse of potential.
Hailing from an excellent family, Economy was beaten just a head by Buchanan and given there were four subsequent winners in behind, the form has a solid feel about it.
Tall Ship also boasts a top-notch pedigree and can build on a couple of unplaced juvenile runs in the Betdaq £25 No Lose Mobile Bets Maiden Stakes.
A son of Sea The Stars out of Group One winner Magical Romance, Tall Ship was well beaten in two outings last year but is expected to have improved for another winter on his back and should shine over middle distances in due course.
Encore Encore overcame a drift across the track to win at Wolverhampton last November and can go in again in the kempton.co.uk Handicap.
She drifted right at Dunstall Park but straightened up enough to hold on at the line and given that narrow verdict in a moderate event, the handicapper appears to have been quite lenient.
At Southwell, Hala Hala can make amends for a disappointing final start of 2013 with victory in the 32Red Thunderstruck II Slot Handicap.
She looked a potentially useful animal in winning twice last summer but was well beaten at Newmarket in September after veering left at the start.
The handicapper has eased Hala Hala 1lb for that defeat and she remains capable of winning if she can bounce back to her best.
Rothman is worth watching as he makes his British debut in the SIS Live “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle at Newton Abbot.
Another French recruit for Paul Nicholls, Rothman showed plenty of ability in two outings in his native country, finishing second on the first occasion before scoring at Pau in January.
He has since joined the Nicholls string and the Ditcheat trainer is a master at placing just this type of horse.
KEMPTON: 2.20 Anjuna Beach, 2.50 Tall Ship, 3.20 Welsh Sunrise, 3.50 Economy, 4.20 SPORTING GOLD (NAP), 4.50 Encore Encore, 5.20 Ghost Train.
NEWTON ABBOT: 2.10 Star Date, 2.40 Hold The Bucks, 3.10 Camden, 3.40 Rothman, 4.10 Roll The Dice, 4.40 Jaunty Journey, 5.10 Double Bank.
SOUTHWELL: 2.00 Flamingo Beat, 2.30 Caledonia Laird, 3.00 Layla’s Hero, 3.30 Hala Hala, 4.00 Bivouac, 4.30 Baltic Prince, 5.00 Just Five.
DOUBLE: Sporting Gold and Economy.
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