It is rare to have a race where all in the field won their previous race but that is what we have in the BetVictor sponsored 12f Handicap at Kempton Park this evening and all four have a realistic chance.
Anglo Irish, who made it third time lucky when scoring at Lingfield back in January over 10f, gave the impression this step up in trip would suit last time but the nod goes to the Derby entrant Festival Theatre (7.40), who dam finished runner up in both the Ribblesdale and the Irish Oaks, and who broke his maiden over an inadequate 7f when last seen back in August.
The finale is another hot little race with five unexposed fillies going to post including Perfect Alchemy (8.40) not seen since scoring over C&D back in September for Ralph Beckett whose string are well forward.
John Gosden’s Terhaab is certainly bred for the job but she might be over-bet because of her connections and the selection should improve again this term.
Over at Towcester I am sure there is more to come from Nimbus Gale (5.45) in the concluding Bumper for Trevor Hemmings.
The 5-y-old was considered a useful prospect at the start of the season but failed to build on a promising debut when bogged down at Huntingdon last time. Ridden by Grand National winning jockey Leighton Aspell he will jump a fence in time but is taken to reward each way support at a double figure price.
I am going to give Ballymacahillcross (3.00) another chance at Ludlow despite the fact that this former pointer ran poorly on his belated reappearance at Haydock last time.
With that experience behind him he is entitled to be a different proposition this time and it is hoped that he has been well schooled in the last three weeks to sharpen up his jumping. Trainer Evan Williams does well with his team at Ludlow and he has been dropped 3lbs since Haydock.
The feature race can go to Gardefort (4.00) who ran very well for a long way on his British debut at Haydock before disappointing at the Cheltenham Festival; another dropped 3lbs since his last run he should find things easier dropped in grade and the hope he is beginning to acclimatise to his new surroundings.
Red Seventy should ensure a sound gallop in the feature hurdle and that should suit Springinherstep who can be very keen but preference is for Zafarangar (4.30) representing Ian Williams and who ran a cracker on the flat last time when just touched off back on the level. He has never won off a mark this high but should have the race run to suit and is taken to strike fast and late.
At Taunton Paul Nicholls’ rarely leaves the track without a winner to his name and his Morito De Berlais (3.20) can land the maiden hurdle returning from a near four-month lay-off. The selection showed enough in Bumpers to suggest he had talent and is certainly bred to make his mark over obstacles.
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