4.30pm Kempton Tips & Betting Preview 06/01/2017

IN SUMMARY: A competitive Class 4 event at Kempton with a number of out of form horses looking to bounce back, but CONSULTING was an impressive winner last time out and is our tip to score again here. With strong previous form at this track, he’s a Course & Distance winner and appears to be developing into a promising All Weather horse. Steelriver has fallen in the weights following some poor efforts but ran well on Thursday to finish second at Wolverhampton and, stepping back up in trip to 6f and running to form, should be the main challenger.

1 MULLIONHEIR – Highly progressive in 2015 leading to a near 40lb rise in the weights, but following a 10 month break after his last victory has been badly out of form this year. Return to All Weather surface has done little to help. Drops in class here (winner last time he ran in a Class 4 event) but plenty to prove for John Best.

2 ILLEGALLY BLONDE – Four year old filly who has finished last on her previous three starts – including seasonal reapperance – albeit in better company than today. Has three wins from 7 starts at 6f and was highly tried as a 3 year old when sent to Meydan to compete in the UAE 2000 Guineas Trial. Tried to do too much when making all at Wolves 27 days ago and worth a close look in the betting off just 3lb higher than when winning over this distance in December 2015.

3 FLORENCIO – Four year old set to have his second start for Marco Botti since moving from William Muir in November. Trainer has a 17% strike rate on the All Weather so far this season and has again reached for headgear, with first time cheekpieces last time out being replaced with a first time hood. Has a good strike rate on the All Weather (2 wins from 5) and ran well enough here over further in October to suggest the track suits. Has a tendency to hang and doesn’t look the most straight forward but retains potential.

4 STEELRIVER – Just three wins in 53 career starts under Rules, with just one of those coming over this distance – that was here at Kempton. Handicap mark has fallen from a peak of 94 to just 82 but hasn’t looked like winning recently. Well supported in the market at this track 17 days ago when lack of a turn of foot saw him finish 5th, before running on well to finish second at Wolves on Thursday, and likely to be strong in the market again today. Strike rate off putting and his one paced running style means he would need everything to fall right to win here.

5 CONSULTING – Owned by cricketer Jimmy Anderson, he showed plenty of potential when winning over Course & Distance on just his third start (November 2015). He largely struggled in handicaps until winning impressively at Newcastle with first time blinkers, dropped back in trip to 6f, powering clear despite taking a keen hold. Remaining at this trip is a plus, as is the return to Kempton – his form figures read 1134 here. The step back up in company shouldn’t prove a problem with blinkers retained and his trainer has a 17% strike rate at this course in the last five seasons.

6 FLECKERL – Five wins from 24 starts on the All Weather, but he has been badly out of form since April – 9 runs have seen a best place finish of 6th. He has dropped significantly in the handicap but has failed to finish in the top three at this track in four attempts and his trainer failed to saddle a winner at this track last year in 14 attempts. Has developed a tendency to start races very slowly and will continue to struggle over shorter trips until overcoming this.

7 DUTCH GOLDEN AGE – A Course & Distance winner just over a year ago in a weak Maiden, Gary Moore’s five year old has struggled in handicap company off similar marks to this with a highest winning rating of 74 (Dead Heat). He took advantage of his falling mark to record a win at Chelmsford (off 71), with jockey George Baker commenting “He’s a horse we thought was quite talented at the beginning of last year and maybe he is”. He is clearly better suited by Polytrack than turf and six furlongs also looks optimal, but he’ll need to find improvement off this mark to win here.

8 SEPTEMBER ISSUE – Lightly raced four year old for Gay Kelleway who looks set to make his Kempton debut here. Highly rated at home, with his trainer stating in June “We thought he would be Listed class last year”, he blew up last time out at Chelmsford finishing a distant 12th of 14. He has shown snatches of ability but clearly struggles to apply himself, with cheekpieces retaining (last worn for his most recent victory in June). Expect him to be ridden close to the pace and, while he probably wants further in time, has chances here if giving his true running.

9 MASAMAH – Veteran 11 year old who has 9 wins from 67 starts (1 from 10 on the All Weather). Needs to bounce back from two poor runs, including when finishing last of 10 here 17 days ago, and a first time tongue tie has been reached for. A 100+ rated horse as recently as 2014, he now runs off 74 but hasn’t won since July 2013 (32 starts ago) – two seconds off 1lb higher than this in summer suggest he has potential off this mark but majority of wins came over the minimum trip and unlikely to feature here.

10 OEIL DE TIGRE – Strongly supported at Southwell last month for a Class 6 Claimer, he eventually went off the 13/8 favourite but having been slowly away hated the kickback and finished 9th of 12. Had some good French form earlier in his career but has just one win in two years in the UK & Ireland – that on Soft ground. Still an All Weather maiden after 5 starts, the surface doesn’t appear to suit and the booking of a claimer with a 3% strike rate last season makes him unappealing today.

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