Race Time: 2.10pm Meeting: Kempton Day: Monday 23rd November 2015 Full Race Name: OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (Listed Race) Class One
We all know it can be a mistake to fall for a horse and follow them blindly but our old friend Polly Peachum (4/11) runs here for the Nicky Henderson yard and she is a class act who goes well fresh which must give her every chance this afternoon. Last season she started off at Wincanton when easily beating Blue Buttons from the Harry Fry yard who we know was very strongly fancied, and she did that giving lumps of weight away to her rivals, so who is to say she cannot repeat the feat this afternoon? Somehow, her official rating has gone down three pounds since her last race when she beat Aqalim at Sandown, but she is the best horse here by at least four pounds even at these weights, and we just can’t see past her.
Her Listed form is the best in the race by miles, and her 6 pound penalty shouldn’t be anywhere near enough to slow her down. She was pulled up in this same race last year on far Softer ground and if she had managed to get over the last fence in one piece that would probably have been enough to win this race. 4/11 actually looks a surprisingly generous price given the second favourite finished a 12 length 2nd last time off a mark of 130 and was beaten 15 lengths by Glen Melody getting 5lb – the same horse who only beat the favourite a head at Cheltenham. This should really be a rout and Polly Peachum could go off 1/5 if the stable are confident.
Kayfleur (20/1) could be interesting for trainer Henry Daly who does particularly well with staying sorts and as she is only a six year old, there is every reason to believe she may have a lot more to offer. Win at Warwick, Ludlow, and Sandown over shorter have shown she has plenty of speed and ability but she is yet to tested over this sort of trip after twelve outings and we have to wonder why that is. Her breeding suggests she may stay as a daughter of Kayf Tara, and she may even improve dramatically for the change but on all know form she can’t win today, so once again we are left with the jolly as the only justifiable selection.
Off the same rating of 125 we have the Neil King trained Minnie Milan (20/1), the winner of three of her last four races but rested since finishing fourth at Market Rasen in early August. She does stay this trip which is a positive but seems to prefer a quicker surface than she seems likely to encounter here unless there is a drying wind of typhoon proportions, and as she is rated twenty- seven pounds inferior to the Henderson horse and only gets eight pounds here which is surely not enough.
Of the younger brigade, Morello Royale (10/1) looks of interest for trainer Colin Tizzard and may yet sneak in to a place. A daughter of King’s Theatre, she has won a couple of races at Warwick and here at Kempton, both over two miles five, but will she stay the extra distance this afternoon we wonder. She has yet to try so we can’t say she will or won’t get the trip and she is certainly worth a try as it would open up all sorts of new options, but whether we would risk our money to try and find out seems highly unlikely.
Lastly, we can throw Fairytale Theatre (7/1) in to the mix if only because she is trained by Dan Skelton and will be ridden by Harry, and they are a very much in form combination. She has run some good races in defeat but hasn’t won in her last seven races since Wincanton in February 2014, and was thrashed behind Polly Peachum at Cheltenham in April the same year (beaten eighty-two lengths), and if she can reverse that form on one pound better terms then questions will have to be asked, and pretty loudly at that!