A very competitive 12 runner Class 2 (0 – 105) handicap at Kempton over the two miles. Read on for our expert betting tips and runner by runner preview.
IN SUMMARY: The James Fanshawe trained Higher Power only found the progressive Cape Cova too good at Doncaster when last seen and looks sure to put in another bold bid. William Haggas always has to be respected and he runs Wrangler here who was doing his best work late on over a mile and a half at Doncaster, 3rd behind To Be Wild. The step up in trip will suit him but the vote goes to Godolphin’s WINNING STORY who unseated Martin Lane when the stalls opened at Chelmsford last month. The New Approach gelding was a warm order that day and won a decent Newmarket maiden on debut. He was out of his depth in the Derby Trial at Lingfield last April but should be plenty good enough to make his presence felt in this company.
1 ORIENTAL FOX – Very inconsistent Mark Johnston trained 8 year old with just the 4 wins from his 41 runs to date. He won very well at Pontefract last time out, beating Burmese by three lengths on heavy ground. This is his first run on the All-Weather and he will find it tough to give weight to the entire field. He has never followed up a win with another victory so he looks opposable.
2 FIRST MOHICAN – Ran a fantastic race in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket last time out, finishing 2nd to Sweet Selection. He has done nothing wrong this season but he is winless from 12 starts in 2016 and is up another four pounds in the weights to 102. Looks sure to give it another good go for the Alan King yard and Hollie Doyle takes off a valuable 5 pounds but others look better treated.
3 BARYE – 5 year old Archipenko gelding trained by Richard Hughes with 5 wins from his 22 starts to date. He has been well beat in decent company last four starts, well out of his depth in the Group 3 September Stakes when 4th to Arab Spring last time out. This is an easier assignment and he is now off a mark of 102, just four pounds higher than when successful at Lingfield back in January. He holds First Mohican on that form and is far better treated at the weights so a bold showing is not out of the question. He didn’t stay two miles at Chelmsford which would have to be a concern.
4 STEVE ROGERS – Very talented stayer trained by Roger Varian, winning 6 of his 16 starts to date. Won very easily over this course and distance back in April off 88 but has a mark of 95 to contend with here. He was sent off favourite for the Chester Cup but couldn’t cope with the quirks of the course and he followed that up with midfield in the Northumberland Plate. He got right back to form with a good 2nd to Oceane at Ascot in July and needs to now bounce back from a poor run at Musselburgh last time out. The talent is there but he’s not showing enough on the track to be seriously considered.
5 HIGHER POWER – Very consistent and progressive Rip Van Winkle four year old gelding trained by James Fanshawe. Sole success from eight starts came here at Kempton over 1m 3f so winning course form is always an advantage. He ran a good race when 2nd to the ultra impressive Soldier In Action at Goodwood before just finding the progressive Cape Cova too good at Doncaster. He was giving that winner 7 pounds and they were well clear of the remainder so that was an excellent run. He could still be well treated off 93 and looks sure to be in the mix.
6 GAVLAR – Interesting runner and could well be overpriced for William Knight. Ignore his last three starts, this horse thrives at Kempton; 2 wins over this course and distance and two places from just five runs at the track. He was second here off a mark of 91 earlier this year and is just one pound higher in the weights so he looks sure to give it another good go. Ran as well as could have been expected in the Northumberland Plate last time out in 9th but will feel more at home back at Kempton.
7 THE TWISLER – He has now gone 10 runs without even a place and although he makes his first start for Roger Ingram here, he looks impossible to fancy at the moment. His last handicap success was off 79 and he runs off 90 in this contest so he still looks plenty high enough in the weights too. Easily swerved.
8 WRANGLER – 5 year old High Chaparral gelding trained by William Haggas and looks one of the more likely contenders. He had two years off the track so clearly had training issues but he showed plenty love for the game on his second start back at Doncaster, a fast finishing 3rd behind To Be Wild over a mile and a half. The step up in trip will be massively in his favour and if that wasn’t a flash in the pan and with more improvement expected to come, he could be a big player off a nice mark.
9 BUONAROTTI – Really well bred by Galileo but sadly didn’t receive any of his talent. Two successes from his 21 starts to date, one of which came in a heavy ground Class 4 handicap at Ayr in the summer off a mark of 81. It would be a real surprise if he was good enough to land this off a mark of 87 on All-Weather debut.
10 – WINNING STORY – Saeed Bin Suroor is in terrific form the past few weeks and this really well bred New Approach gelding holds massive claims. The yard have saddled 6 winners in the past 6 days and this horse was sent off favourite on his last start at Chelmsford. Unfortunately when the stalls opened he unseated Martin Lane so we will never know what would have been. He won really well on debut over 1m 2f at Newmarket and the fact they started him out over that trip would suggest they think he is an out and out stayer. He has only had two runs under his belt in essence and has huge improvement to come. A mark of 95 could look very lenient.
11 ALBAHAR – Chris Gordon’s gelding has run four times at Kempton without success and it’s hard to imagine him making it 5th time lucky. He hacked up at Goodwood back in May, beating Rayvin Black comfortably which is decent form but has been well beat all three starts since. Trip and surface shouldn’t be a problem but he simply isn’t as good as some of his rivals.
12 PERCY VEER – Like all Sylvester Kirk trained runners, the market will tell us a lot about this horses’ chances. The 4 year old gelding still has age on his side and ran respectable if not remarkable races over two miles on his last three outings, finishing midfield in all three. He was 2nd over course and distance back in June off 85 and is now off a mark of 84 so he certainly looks well treated and could be the dark horse in the pack.