Fourteen horses line up for the opener today at Kempton and they should go a good gallop. Read on for our expert’s thoughts and betting tips.
IN SUMMARY: RED COSSACK saves his best for this course and he should go well with Pat Cosgrave taking the ride. He looked in need of further last time and he is a big player upped to 1m2f. He has most to fear from Dream Ruler who has found some consistency recently and at a bigger price, Tommy’s Geal can go well after her staying on fifth at Lingfield and she will appreciate being kept to today’s trip.
1 Solveig’s Song – Fairly consistent this year with four wins including two at this track in a Class 6 and more recently, a Class 5 last month when belying odds of 33/1 to get up to win by a short head. Only 4lb higher here and no reason to think she won’t go well again but this is stronger.
2 Red Cossack – Won over 7f on this course last September and has saved his best runs for this venue, finishing placed on three starts from four runs since. Latest third over 1m was a good run and he stayed on nicely suggesting this step up in trip should suit. Pat Cosgrave takes the ride again and he still has more to give from a mark of 70 and good draw in Stall 11. Big player.
3 Dream Ruler – Previously with Jo Crowley and sole win came at this venue on first career start two years ago over 1m. Has largely disappointed since at this level, and joined this yard last year but has looked back to his best recently, finishing second in a fourteen runner Class 5 event two months ago over 1m3f on this surface. Can continue to improve and solid place claims.
4 Zabeel Star – Only win came on the turf at Haydock (Firm) last Summer in a three runner Class 5 event. Fair form on four AW runs this year including on latest start at Newcastle. Well backed into favouritism that day but only managed sixth of 9, hanging badly to the right. Makes his polytrack debut today and back on a clockwise course but looks held against a few on recent form and best watched unless the market speaks in his favour.
5 Hungerford – Lightly raced 4-y-o who won over 1m at Lingfield on second career start. Has run well since, mainly on turf, and recent AW runs are hardly inspiring, a fourth at Lingfield over 1m4f on his last start the best on offer. Drop in trip should help him although all of his best form is at 1m, finished tailed off in eleventh of 12 on last start round these bends in July and has a lot to prove for win purposes.
6 Boycie – Paco Boy colt who has three AW wins to his name but never scored on this surface or beyond 7f. Sixth of 11 two starts ago over 1m at this course and only thirteenth of 15 at Chelmsford last time out. Significantly up in trip and has a lot to do despite being on a workable mark.
7 Loving Your Work – Seems to save his best for Newbury with three Class 5 handicap wins there. Has struggled on the AW for a while now, including over 1m3f two starts ago on this track when only ninth of 14 in a similar race. Booking of Jim Crowley a plus but looks up against it on best form.
8 Cat Royale – Has won over C&D before when winning a Class 5 maiden race in February. Scored again two starts later at Windsor (Soft) in a Class 5 handicap but recent AW runs are uninspired including last run at Lingfield when eleventh of 13 (Hungerford in fourth). Hard to fancy for win purposes despite workable mark.
9 Shifting Star – A winner at this venue two years ago over 7f but never won at today’s trip. Only fifth of 14 two starts ago when he tried this distance for the first time and last at this course twenty days ago over 1m. Plenty of negatives to rule him out today back up in trip.
10 Fastnet Blast – Fastnet Rock gelding who is still lightly raced for a 3-y-o. Fair runs so far in handicaps on the AW without marked improvement and tries this surface for the first time today. On a good mark after his fifth of 11 over 1m4f at Newcastle on his last start and the drop in trip needs to have a positive effect if his is to take a hand in this.
11 Estibdaad – Losing streak stretches thirteen runs back to 2015 now but ran well here to finish runner up three starts ago in a Class handicap over 1m3f. On a fair mark now and not badly drawn in Stall 4. Bit to find on form.
12 Runaiocht – Only two wins from 42 carer runs, both coming at Lingfield up to 1m2f. Ran a couple of nice races at this course recently until eleventh of 13 on last start in a Class 6. Off since July and best watched for now and 4lb higher than his last win in April.
13 Tommy’s Geal – Looked out of sorts in first three races this Autumn but had been running well prior to that at this level without winning. Looked as if a return to that form was on the horizon when staying on well to finish fifth of 14 in a handicap at Lingfield 13 days ago and one to keep an eye out at the likely price.
14 Dukes Meadow – Sole career win came at Chelmsford in a Class 4 handicap last year and ran poorly to finish eighth of 14 in a Class 6 on his last start at that venue. Doesn’t run too often at this track and has finished fifth and seventh on his two starts. Plenty to prove at 1m2f and back into a Class 5. Easy to overlook today.