2.30pm Kempton Tips & Betting Preview 02/11/2015

Race Time2.30pm MeetingKempton Day: Monday 2nd November 2015
Distance: 2m 5f Full Race NamePertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (Series Qualifier) (Class 2)

The 2.30pm at Kempton isn’t normally a race we’d dedicate a preview to it, despite the fact that it’s a qualifier for the Pertemps Network Hurdle at the end of the season and that there is £19,000 in the prize pool on a Monday afternoon. The big attraction of this race is the appearance of Silviniaco Conti, last seen when winning the Betfred Bowl Chase at Aintree’s Grand National meeting and currently rated 172 over the bigger obstacles.

He’s being sent here for an early pipe opener with trainer Paul Nicholls saying “he always needs a run”. They’ve elected to send him over hurdles rather than on a racecourse gallop for the competitive aspect we imagine; he was last seen over hurdles way back in February 2011 (back when Jessie J’s Price Tag was top of the charts…) running in the Kingwell Hurdle. His handicap mark has been dropped 5lb since then despite 10 chasing wins including six Grade 1s, and the question is whether there’s any value about him today. In a word – no. A combination of the fact he’s needed the run in the last two seasons, the return to hurdles after not seeing them for so long, and the 2m 5f trip mean we’re avoiding him and taking him on with one of the others carrying far less weight.

We were torn between the top two in the market but in our eyes the better bet of the two is Brother Tedd. A winner when last seen of a Class 2 handicap hurdle over approximately this distance at Sandown, he’s been put up 9lb for that but he is only 4lb higher than his opening mark of 140 which was given after showing much promise in November last year. He ran Southfield Vic close in March at Wincanton who is a horse we hold in high regard and was 3rd in a Listed event in April. Richard Johnson takes the ride which is a big plus and the yard is having a great season already with a 23% strike rate from their 137 runners so far.

Low Key, 3/1 second favourite, has been impressive on the flat over stayers trips at Newmarket, winning the Cesarewitch Trial before finishing mid pack in the Cesarewitch itself when sent off 13/2 favourite off 86. He was a winner of two hurdles in August & September but the form from those looks weak; Mantou who he beat by a head has underperformed in his next two finishing 6th and 7th off 130. I expected a rise of a couple of pounds at most, and a rise of six pounds by the handicapper seems harsh.

Kayserberg and Mister Fizz make up the field. The former seems to be using this as a confidence boosted after unseating over chases back in January and thn pulling up when 25/1 for a Grade 3 handicap hurdle at Aintree in April. He’s down 3lb for that but he last won a race back in October 2013 off 134 and I don’t think this will be a serious target for him, much like Conti. Mister Fizz is the outsider of the field; he’s got a handy flat mark of 80 but he’s been out of form on the flat recently. He won his last hurdles start off 140 which was a nice win but he wants a bit of cut in the ground from what we’ve seen and we haven’t seen enough to think he’s got potential in hand off 145.

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