Just the eight runners are set to line up for this close to two mile handicap for three-year-olds, and with £4,690 for the winner it should be pretty competitive. With no previous runnings we have no stats to go on, however see our horse by horse race preview and selection ahead of the 7.45pm at Kempton.
IN SUMMARY: The trip seems to be the only issue that can possibly stop MUNSTEAD STAR who ran on strongly to score very easily over shorter last time. With further improvement to come, he could well do even better stepped up to two miles. If that is the case, he seems likely to lead them all a merry dance here and can win this for trainer Andrew Balding who is particularly astute at improving this sort of late maturing horse.
1 MASTER ARCHER – Top weight for James Fanshawe’s son of Mastercraftsman who seems to stay much further than his breeding suggests and still a maiden after eight starts. He has finished second in his last two races, one each at Sandown and Nottingham over a mile and three-quarters, and a little one paced on both occasions. The step up to this two miles looks interesting and may see him plug on without really needing to quicken up. That said, all of his better efforts have been on turf and there has to be a question mark over whether he can repeat them on the polytrack tonight.
2 MUNSTEAD STAR – One of only two runners entered to win last time out, in his case when taking a Class 4 maiden here over a mile and a half on his sixth start when staying on well to win by three and a half lengths from Star Guide. Sent off at Evens that day, the win was obviously expected and his handicap mark of 76 here looks about right when looking through the form. He clearly arrives here in peak form and has to have a solid chance of a follow up success. If he stays the added trip (and he looked as if he got better the further he went last time out) then he looks more than likely to run a big race again here.
3 LETHAL IMPACT – Newmarket trainer David Simcock adds first-time blinkers to the son of top Japanese sire Deep Impact and if they have the desired effect he could do better here. Still a maiden after five starts, he does at least have course and distance form to work with having finished third here last time out when beaten by Percy’s World in his first place to date. However, he did lose second late on and seemed to be floundering over this trip and in a fast run race the same fate may well await him here.
4 SUSSEX RANGER – Plenty of decent form already this season for Gary Moore’s three-year-old with a win over a mile and three-quarters at Lingfield on soft ground, suggesting that this trip is within his range. He did try two miles for the first time at Goodwood last time out when a two and a quarter length third when caught at the furlong pole after being sent to the front two out. If he can be held on to a little longer by Hector Crouch today on this surface then he won’t be far away at the finish.
5 VEILED SECRET – Trained by Sir Mark Prescott and therefore well worth a market watch, the son of Teofilo has won one of his ten races to date at Yarmouth off of six pounds lower back in early August. Since then he has finished third at Ffos Las and last of six over this trip at Goodwood when five and a quarter lengths behind Sussex Ranger who he meets on five pounds better terms. He does look up against it again this evening unless the money suggests otherwise.
6 SURE TO EXPLORE – One win from just the four starts for Willie Muir’s filly who will be ridden by the trainer’s son-in-law Martin Dwyer. His handicap mark of 77 has looked too high in both runs since, with a ten length fourth at Bath and a 20 length sixth of eight at Wolverhampton over a mile and a half last time out. As a son of Henrythenavigator, he isn’t exactly bred for this stamina laden trip and hasn’t really shown any signs that it will bring the required improvement. However, he has been dropped a couple of pounds by the handicapper and if he does stay he could surprise them all.
7 PLAGE DEPAMPELONNE – Trainer James Bethel is in great form with three winners from just the nine runners in the last fortnight for a 33% success rate and a level stakes profit of 13.79 points. Last time out he won over a mile and three-quarters at Redcar on fast ground, staying on strongly after being produced late in first-time cheekpieces by jockey Kevin Stott. If Ted Durcan rides him the same way today he should be a major player here, even with the added five pounds the handicapper has allocated him since that victory.
8 GEE SIXTY SIX – Mark Tompkins’s gelding is still without a win after seven starts now and was last seen on the Chelmsford polytrack over this trip when a 39 length sixth of seven to Noble Behest when eased inside the final furlong. Dropped a single pound for that effort, he looks up against it here. He would be a surprise winner for a stable without a winner in the last two weeks, and is therefore difficult to recommend.