7.15pm Kempton Tips & Betting Preview 22/03/2017

Eight runner go to post for this competitive handicap at Kempton racecourse with a prize fund of £4,690 up for grabs. Run over the seven furlongs, read on for our expert analysis, runner by runner preview and free tip for the contest.

IN SUMMARY: Jim Boyle’s Black Bess is still a young horse and she warrants plenty of respect off the back of a break dropped down in class. Varsovian comes here in good form but might find the trip a bit of a stretch whilst Major Crispies would be a major player if he could recapture his best form off this mark. Saleh is likely to go off a warm order but a chance is taken on MEZMAAR (10/1) who is having his first run for the Mark Usher stable tonight after a nice break. He has a good draw to attack from, conditions will suit and our only concern is whether he is fit or not as he has not been seen for a while. Big each way player if the yard have him flying fit on his return.

1 HIGHLY SPRUNG – Mark Johnston trained four year old gelding by Zebedee who was last seen well down the field in a very good Class 2 handicap at Doncaster in November. This represents a big drop in class but he will have to carry top weight of 9-7 as a consequence and he might just need the run on his return. He has also only run on the All-Weather twice in the past without landing a blow and he failed to stay this trip the two times he attempted it thus far so he may well need shorter.

2 BLACK BESS – Trained by the very capable Jim Boyle, this four year old filly has what it takes to win this contest. Sent off the 9/2 favourite for a good Epsom handicap when last seen in September, she ran a fine race when third behind eventual winner Jack’s Revenge. She was just a three year old then so we expect to see a more mature horse this season. Her form over seven furlongs is rock solid – 1st, 3rd, 1st, 3rd from her four runs over the distance and she has past Kempton experience too. Adam Kirby booked and she is a massive player.

3 UNTIL MIDNIGHT – Thoroughly exposed seven year old trained by Eugene Stanford who won over this course and distance off a mark of 62 in the past. He now has to defy a mark of 80 to land this contest so it looks a tall order on paper and he may be up against some more progressive types. He did however run a very solid race on his annual reappearance at Chelmsford, a plugging on third when sent off an un-fancied 20/1 shot and he looks an each way player if he can build on that effort.

4 VARSOVIAN – Now seven pounds higher in the weights than when second over this course and distance off a mark of 72 back in 2014. Dean Ivory’s seven year old won a 0-75 at Lingfield over six furlongs last month and ran a solid race in fourth off a five pound higher mark over the same course and distance when last seen. The step up to seven furlongs has to be a slight concern as he is 0/8 over distances of seven furlongs or further so he looks poor value at the prices for all he has a terrific plum draw in Stall 1.

5 MEZMAAR – Eight year old Teofilo gelding who is having his first run for the Mark Usher yard after a 224 day absence. There is a chance he may just need the run but he has won fresh in the past and he is a two time course and distance winner, successful off marks of 71 and 75. A mark of 79 today might just be beyond him as he bids to gain fitness but he has a fantastic draw in Stall 2 and if Mark has him in good order, he could well be the value selection in the line-up.

6 DUTIFUL SON – Luke Morris is always a well sought after jockey on the All-Weather due to his forceful nature and he takes the ride on this Simon Dow inmate by Invincible Spirit. The seven year old was a course and distance winner off a mark of 85 in November 2015 so looks really well treated here off 77 if he can get back anywhere near his best. His last four runs at Kempton have been pretty dismal though and he will need to show more before he becomes a betting proposition once again.

7 MAJOR CRISPIES – Jeremy Gask trained six year old who is thoroughly exposed now with forty-five runs under his belt, resulting in just two victories so the percentage call is to oppose here. There is a glimmer of hope for him as his best run in the last twelve months came here over this course and distance in October when he was beat just a head off a mark of 80 and he is running off a six pound lower mark tonight. It is very difficult to back him but he could go well from a decent draw in Stall 4.

8 SALEH – Progressive looking and relatively lightly raced four year old gelding trained by Lee Carter who runs with a weight of just 8-8 on his back. Sent off the solid 2/1 favourite on his latest start here over a mile, he only found Believe It too good whilst he also won here at Kempton over the mile in January in the hands of Adam Kirby. He is entitled to go well once again and could well go off favourite but he is a hold up horse who needs things to drop right and he may well be better over a mile.

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