2.30pm Kempton – Betfred “Home Of Goals Galore” Handicap Class Two – 7f
Plenty of course and distance winners in this select ten runner field over what we see as a pretty specialist distance that stretches the stamina of the sprinters and questions the speed of the milers all at the same time. Marco Botti seems to have his Newmarket string in pretty decent order of late as witnessed by the superb run of Euro Charline in Dubai, and his fans will no doubt be all over Crazy Chic here and hopefully rightly so. Kept busy over the winter his fitness cannot really be in question even if he has had a few weeks off, with his last run a respectable second to Peril at Wolverhampton giving him a better than decent chance. All three of his all-weather wins have been over this trip including one here in September, and this is the sort of race the appears taylor made for him, unlike some of the others who have targets later in the season to aim for.
George Margarson is a great bloke and a very underestimated trainer, and he has the only last time out winner in the field with Shyron, a son by Byron out of Coconut Shy who won a Class Two handicap at Lingfield by a neck four weeks or so ago. Prior to that run he had been beaten in to second by Realize not once but twice while going up in the weights regardless, but he is clearly admirably consistent and in the right grade (unlike some), and will prove extremely difficult to keep out of the frame.
Andrew Balding has the pleasure of being responsible for top weight Intransigent, yet he is not out of it by any means even if he is set to carry nine stone seven before the three-pound claim of Rob Hornby in the saddle. Rated 102 today, he has won here at Kempton and over this seven furlongs (though not at the same time), and off ratings up to 107 so is not out of his depth by any means, though a losing run of sixteen races going all the way back to November 2014 has to be seen as a negative and perhaps enough to put us off him today.
Meanwhile the search for an outsider continues and with Ralph Becket in among the winners we can’t just ignore Mr Bossy Boots even if the five-year-old languishes at the bottom of the weights. Although out of sorts in 2016 so far with below par efforts at Southwell (twice) ad Lingfield, he has four career victories to his name from just the eleven starts on artificial surfaces, which is an impressive percentage, and with all four over this seven-furlong trip and one of them at this track. Today he is carrying three pounds more than his highest ever winning mark but with Patrick O’Donnell taking a useful five pounds off his back, he may still run a huge race and at an equally huge price.
Lastly for now, and the William Knight horses have a 67% place record in the past fortnight making Solar Flair of each way interest Now a four-year-old, he picked up a couple of lesser handicaps over this trip at both Newmarket and Lingfield last summer and may have found the company a bit hot at Goodwood when only eighth to Enlace in the Qatar Stakes when last seen in early August. Admittedly his fitness is in question after eight months off but the yard are clearly in good form and he may well sneak in to a place at a decent price.
Channel 4 tips for every race – click here to see all Saturday’s tips!