A field of twelve gather for this 0-65 handicap over the six furlongs at Kempton racecourse. With the sad news that Kempton Park will more than likely close in 2021, each meeting is to be savoured. Read on for our expert runner by runner guide plus free tip for the race.
IN SUMMARY: The King trained Rigolleto looks sure to give a very good account running off 67 in a 0-65 after an eye-catching run in this sort of company last time out. He should be able to grab a great early position on the rail coming out of Stall 1. Red Invader would be an interesting proposition if the market spoke in his favour considering the yard but our vote goes to TANGO SKY (6/1) from the Paul Midgley stable. Adam Kirby has been booked for the ride which could be a tip in itself and he ran his best race for a long time at Newcastle last time out so a win is on the cards tonight with improvement expected again.
1 RIGOLLETO – Bounced right back to form at Lingfield last time out to finish runner up in a 0-65 handicap and George Baker maintains the mount today. He gets into this 0-65 off a mark of 67 due to the new weight conditions and his chances are further enhanced by drawing a great pitch from Stall 1. He was well backed the last day (sent off the 3/1 favourite) and he won very comfortably over course and distance last March off a two pound lower mark, taking advantage of his plum draw in 1 that day too. Massive player and he is the horse that should give our selection the most to think about. Cheekpieces did the trick last time out and they remain intact.
2 RED INVADER – Seven year old having his first run for the John Butler stable today and with all horses from this yard, the market is usually a very telling guide. Five of his six wins have come over the minimum 5f and although he won over 7f early in his career, the 6f might be a bit of a stretch for him nowadays. He arrives here off the back of a 149 day absence and his last run for Paul D’Arcy was a successful one at Chelmsford. He is now 4 pounds higher so faces a stiff task at the weights but he has to be respected and John Butler is +£45.44 profit to level stakes with his horses running after a break since 2012 which is mighty impressive.
3 JACK THE LAIRD – Extremely frustrating four year old whose sole success came at Wolverhampton over this trip last May off 55 and he doesn’t look particularly well treated today off of 63 for all he was placed twice off a one pound higher mark recently. He has become a very expensive horse to follow, notching up five second place finishes since his win last year. The ability is there but he needs everything to drop right on the day. Kempton is a very tricky course to navigate at the first attempt so it is hard to recommend a quirky horse on his first start at the course. The tongue-tie goes on for the very first time which may spark some improvement but he looks hard to fancy for win purposes.
4 MONSIEUR PADDY – Victorious in a Newcastle maiden on just his second start last month, showing a good turn of foot. Newcastle is a straight gallopers track though so it will be interesting to see how he copes with the sweeping bends at Kempton but he has been gifted a brilliant draw in Stall 2. A mark of 63 could still be fairly lenient for this Monsieur Bond gelding who is bred to enjoy the surface and any market move would be significant as the Tony Carroll yard like to have a punt. Interesting runner who is unexposed.
5 TANGO SKY – Adam Kirby is the top jockey at Kempton with 108 winners here over the last five seasons, operating at a 15% strike-rate. Over the past two weeks he has been operating at a stunning 26% strike-rate so he is clearly riding out of his skin at present. Paul Midgley has acquired his services to ride this eight year old gelding who produced his best performance for a while when third at Newcastle three weeks ago over 6f, travelling strongly. He is now one pound lower than his last All-Weather success and although this is his first start at Kempton, this is the first time Adam has been booked so that could prove to be significant.
6 SEHAYLI – Four year old who showed plenty of spark on turf in the spring and summer of 2016 but his form has tailed off drastically since he switched to the All-Weather and the draw in Stall 10 will do him no favours either, widest of all. He will have to either rush up and force a lead or sit and suffer at the back and wait for a late run but either way it makes life ten times harder than it normally would. He was well beat off this mark at Lingfield last time out and it’s very hard to make a case for him.
7 COMPTON PRINCE – Thoroughly exposed eight year old who has been victorious just 5 times from his 64 starts to date for Milton Bradley. He was 6th over course and distance off a mark of 57 last January so he looks up against it today off a mark of 61. He is now 0/12 at the track and as he approaches the latter stages of his career it is difficult to see where the improvement is going to come from. He also comes from a slightly wide berth in Stall 7 so a place looks his best hope. Luke Morris is booked which is a plus.
8 FIRESNAKE – Better than the bare result when beat about four lengths at Lingfield last time out off this mark but Jordan Uys takes over from William Carson in the saddle so technically he will be running off a 7 pound lower mark here due to his valuable claim. The gelding is 0/2 at Kempton but those runs were off marks of 71 and 66 so the handicapper has given him a chance off 61 today. He also has a decent draw in Stall 4 but the form of Lisa Williamson has to be a concern, she hasn’t had a winner since November. Cheekpieces go back on which may aid his cause.
9 FLEETING GLIMPSE – Andrew Balding trained four year old filly who is having her handicap debut today off a lowly mark of 59. Hood and tongue-strap go on for the very first time which is an interesting move and Joshua Bryan is a very capable 7 pound claimer. She was only beat 4.5 lengths here on debut over 7f from a poor draw in Stall 10 which is promising and although she is poorly drawn in Stall 9, she has to be highly respected considering the trainer, the mark and past course experience.
10 NASRI – The old man of the race at the ripe old age of 11. Trained by Emma Owen, this boy is 2/17 at the track and he has come down the weights from a course and distance winning mark of 61 back down to 52 so is at least running off a lenient mark. He is well drawn in Stall 3 and the in form Stevie Donohue is booked to ride but he still looks difficult to fancy for win purposes.