Race Time: 6.45pm Meeting: Kempton Day: Wednesday 25th November 2015 Full Race Name: 32.Red.com Wild Flower Stakes (Listed Race) Class One
A mid week Listed race on the all-weather is invariably worthy of a bit of added attention, and this mile and a half event is no different. Just the two runners rated over 100 at the early declaration stage is a touch disappointing but never mind, we can only assume most owners don’t need their share of the £40,000 prize fund despite their constant whining! Best horse in the race and best horse at the weights is Mark Johnston’s Fire Fighting (5/1), rated 108 and looking for his fourth win this season from an astonishing twenty races – and twenty-four in the calendar year! Last time out the four year old was eleventh of fourteen at Lingfield over a mile and a quarter which seems to be his best trip, and although he has won at bath over eleven and a half furlongs, the full mile and a half would be a first after sixteen losing races at the trip or further.
The only other member of the 100+ club entered is George Scott’s Hamelin (5/1) who has won over this trip at Wolverhampton this season as well as finishing runner up at the same venue and also here at Kempton. He was only a neck behind Missed Call that say, and a length and a half in front of Fire Fighting, but is three pounds worse off and it could be close between the pair this evening. He could well be the first ever runner for young George, who used to be assistant to Lady Cecil at Warren Place (and who used to handle Hamelin until her recent retirement from the training ranks), so we would like to take this opportunity to wish him the very best of luck in his “new” career.
Hugo Palmer will remember 2015 for a very long time thanks to horses of the calibre of Covert Love, but he is not a man to rest on his laurels and will be hoping for a big (winning) run from Spanish Squeeze (11/4) who is lightly raced with just the four career starts and likely to improve further given time. An educational debut at Newmarket in September 29014 was followed by a very easy maiden win here at Kempton over a mile, after which the son of Lope De Vega was put away for the winter. Fourth on his return at Lingfield back in April when slowly away and the running on over the mile, something must have been wrong since as he missed the whole of the summer before eventually getting back to the track over a mile and a quarter at Chelmsford when running on strongly to go under by a nose at the line when closing in on Bancnuanaheireann. Although there will reach a point where he runs out of excuses, he isn’t quite there yet and if he does get the trip (on breeding he doesn’t), then he will be a danger to all especially as he is assured of improvement for his first run in ages.
Newmarket trainer John Gosden looks like he intends to carry on through the winter, and we were a little surprised to see the price of Lemoncetta (50/1) even if she is rated a long way inferior to all her rivals by the official handicapper. Already a winner this year at Newmarket and Windsor in lesser races, she was a beaten favourite last time out at Wolverhampton when the nine and a half furlongs was way too short for her, but tis is more her trip though they will have to squeeze plenty of improvement out of her (somehow) to get her involved this evening.
Pretty much everyone involved in racing likes James Fanshawe and he run Ospina (15/2) again this afternoon as she looks to follow up her neck win over course and distance here. That was a Class Three handicap and she will need to improve again if the ratings are to be believed, but she is improving race on race, comes from a stable in form, and gets weight from all her rivals, making her our selection as an each way option here.