The fourth race on the Kempton card on Saturday is a London Middle Distance Qualifier. We have a full race preview and our experts’ tips for the Class 4 handicap below.
IN SUMMARY: Alcatraz has finished the runner up on his last two runs (both at this course) and is likely to be thereabouts, but Jamie Osborne’s EVERY CHANCE will be hard to beat judged on his comeback run earlier this month. On that occasion he was returning from a layoff of over a year and he didn’t get a clear run but still managed to finish 5th. He is upped in trip and looking at his last run that will suit (running on). Hairdryer ran well last time in front of the selection but he won’t have a fitness edge this time around.
1 SKY CAPE – Had been nicely progressive when last seen in October 2015, winning a C&D handicap when still with Charlie Appleby. Hasn’t been seen since then however and was sold for £6,000 last November to join the Heather Main yard. He’s also been gelded and makes his return after a 500 day absence which has to be of concern. It would be a brilliant training performance if he were to return and win this but he faces some race fit, in form rivals who will make this very tough for him. Entiled to need this run but not entirely discounted, watch the market.
2 EVERY CHANCE – Had been improving nicely in the winter of 2015, winning at Wolverhampton (1m 1f, Std) after making all in impressive fashion. He returned from that long absence when fifth at Wolverhampton (1m 1f, Std) over the same C&D two weeks ago which was a brilliant return considering he didn’t have a clear run up the home straight. Likely to improve markedly from that run for Jamie Osbourne and the Melbourne 10 with Adam Kirby retaining the ride. Has to be respected and likely to be tough to beat.
3 ARCHANGEL RAPHAEL – Smart on the flat in France but has been in the handicappers grip since moving to Britain with the Amanda Perrett yard. Well held at Lingfield when last seen in January (1m 4f, Std) and looks to be up against it again today. This is arguably more competitive than his last run and others are much more likely today, so is best left alone.
4 ALCATRAZ – Only one win from sixteen runs, with that coming in a maiden back in May 2015 at Chepstow. He has however been showing some good signs of late, finishing second on both of his last runs including over C&D on his latest start, headed on the post which was incredibly unlucky after missing the break. Raised 2lb as a result and connections have changed headgear, and if that has a positive effect he looks fairly weighted to go close for George Baker and Liam Keniry. Likely to be in the shake up and has to be respected, though his record is highly off putting.
5 HAIRDRYER – Has been in good form the last twice since witching back to the all weather, winning at Chelmsford in November in a maiden (1m 2f, Std) but was ahead of an unlucky Every Chance at Wolverhampton when second on his latest start (1m 1f, Std). Seems unlikely to be able to confirm placings with that rival who now has race fitness, despite the Andrew Balding yard remaining in good form and Oisin Murphy taking the ride. Likely to make a race of it but seems destined for second today unless he improves markedly again.
6 KINGTHISTLE – Went back to back when winning at Wolverhampton two starts ago (1m 1f, Std), but had his hat-trick bid scuppered when only third at Chelmsford earlier this month, unlucky in running (1m 2f, Std). Tries a new trip today which may well eek of further improvement and he remains on the same mark as his latest third, so isn’t unfairly treated. He will however need this trip to have a really positive effect as he’s now pitched into tougher company against some improving horses. Possible place contender but seems vulnerable for win purposes.