8.50pm Kempton Tips & Betting Preview 05/09/2017

A fraction short of a mile and a half await the eleven declared runners and, with the polytrack riding on the slow side, stamina will still be at a premium. With an age range from four all the way up to eleven we have some on the upgrade and others heading in to retirement, but we have still put together a race preview for you with our selection ahead of the 8.50pm at Kempton.

IN SUMMARY: At these weights it looks likely that TUOLUMNE MEADOWS can reverse recent form with Rianna Star, and if a first-time visor can help to point her in the right direction she looks the one to be on here. James Doyle is in the saddle and her market rival is the most likely to follow her home tonight.

1 THE GINGER BERRY – Although he has got a course and distance win to his name from January 2014 that was his last victory, and a run of 20 losing starts since has to be of concern. The Dr Jon Scargill yard are having a quiet spell with just the one losing runner in the last 14 days. Following a fifteen had a half length sixth of eleven at Yarmouth last time out he is close to impossible to make a realistic case for. He runs off ten pounds higher than that here thanks to his all-weather rating.

2 JERSEY BULL – Fourteen career starts here at Kempton have yielded two victories so far, but he seems badly out of sorts, finishing last of nine at Lingfield when last seen in July on the turf course. He did manage a three-and-three-quarter length third at the same venue on the polytrack in February off three pounds higher than he has today, so he cannot be completely written off, regardless of his big odds. Nevertheless, he does have a bit to find and needs to get back to his best if he wants to get involved.

3 TUOLUMNE MEADOWS – Formerly in the care of Paul Cole, he moved to Tony Newcombe last month and caught the eye with a two length fourth to Wolfcatcherjack over course and distance in mid-August. Tony is renowned for rejuvenating other stable’s “cast-offs”, and has decided to add a first-time visor and book James Doyle to ride, all of which look positive moves. At the age of four, the daughter of High Chaparral may well have more improvement to come.

4 MEETINGS MAN – Now a veteran at the age of ten, the grey has only had the one race so far this season when last of seven at Bath on his first run for ten months. Sent off a 12/1 chance that day, he was beaten 38 lengths after being heavily eased and is entitled to strip race fit now. However, he may have had his day for the Ali Stronge stable who are struggling for runners, let alone winners. He clearly is not the force of old and has a none from four record when tried here at Kempton.

5 HOWARDIAN HILLS –  His one win from ten starts was on the all-weather at Wolverhampton in July in first-time cheekpieces, yet they failed to work a second time when he finished a nine-and-a-half length eighth to Wolfcatcherjack over this course and distance, with Rianna Star and Tuolumne Meadows in second and fourth. He has a bit to find, even at the revised weights, and looks up against it here on that form alone. He may well struggle again with the cheekpieces removed.

6 ZARLIMAN – The seven-year-old gelding makes his debut for trainer Roger Ingram here after leaving the Neil Mulholland yard via Phil York. He has been off the track since finishing sixth in a handicap hurdle at Exeter in October 2016 and his fitness has to be in question after such a long absence. He has won over this course and distance twice so cannot be totally discounted, but he is yet to win first time out and looks up against it here.

7 RIANNA STAR – She finished ahead of Tuolumne Meadows here in August and meets that rival on four pounds worse terms for a length and a half and may struggle to confirm that form here. She is in good heart, with three second places in her last four starts and won’t be far away under the excellent Hector Crouch who is good value for his three pounds claim. However, this is poor value under the circumstances and may have to settle for second spot yet again here.

8 WASSAIL – An interesting contender with some really solid form on turf, including a win at Nottingham over a mile and three-quarters in June and a second to Hope Is High at Bath over a mile and five last time out. Her three runs on the all-weather have been a lot less impressive, with a seven-and-three-quarter length eighth over course and distance last November, a 20 length last of eight at Chelmsford over a mile and a quarter, and a 24 length last of eight (again) over ten furlongs at Lingfield. It may well be the lack of a stamina test tells a misleading story but, as things stand, she is difficult to suggest with her terrible all-weather record.

9 VEXILLUM – Lightly raced for an eight-year-old with 13 losing runs on the flat stretching back to 2012 when he won a Wolverhampton handicap by a neck over a mile and three-quarters. He has taken three races over hurdles and a chase since and was only beaten a couple of lengths at Bath last time out over a furlong further than this. In first-time cheekpieces and with Hollie Doyle in the saddle claiming three pounds, he could run a bigger race than his price suggests, although probably not a winning one from a pound out of the handicap.

10 GARCON DE SOLEIL – Although the four-year-old gelding looks a no hoper here from a glance at his form figures, he has been running well enough without success and he may have some room to improve further after just the eight starts. His staying on second to Ripoli here over a mile in November 2015 was reasonable enough form, with the winner peaking at an official rating of 81. That performance indicates that, if he can only repeat that run over this trip, then he could well be thrown in off a rating of 46 here, despite having to carry a pound extra thanks to the race conditions.

11 STAR LINKS – Joint bottom weight for the John Butler trained eleven-year-old who won here at Kempton – albeit over a mile and a quarter – in February 2016. That was the last of his 13 career wins from a 110 starts, with twelve losses since and a bit of a tour before ending up at the John Butler yard in Newmarket. He finished eighth of 11 at Lingfield on the polytrack when last in action in August and needs to do a lot more than that to get into the finish. Improvement seems less than likely at his venerable age.

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