There are some big races to get stuck into on Saturday. We hope you enjoy our previews and strike it lucky with our top tips!
14:40 Kempton Park
Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle (Listed) (4yo+, 2m 5f, Class 1, 14 runners)
Chesterfield impressed at Ascot on reappearance, but you would like to see at least one more outing for the 7-year-old before backing him in a contest such as this – even with Kevin Jones claiming 5lb.
Alex Ferguson claims 7lb on Jaleo and there was a lot to like about his victory at Lingfield where significant problems in-running were overcome.
Doesyourdogbite gets the nod though. Jonjo O’Neill’s inmate keeps slipping under the radar, as far as punters are concerned. If you had backed him to win his last 3 races, a 1,051/1 treble would have been yours to boast about. He still looks reasonably well-treated, unlike both Modus and Old Guard.
Hampton Novices’ Chase (Listed) (5yo+, 3m, Class 1, 7 runners)
In The Tub is the only one to scrub, in what looks a very competitive renewal of the Hampton. The other 6 horses all have the capability to go close.
Mystical Knight is the only one to have won over both the course (on debut) and the distance. Rebecca Curtis’ inmate was 5-lengths too good for Chef D’oeuvre, last time out at Hereford, but the French horse still looks the value in this contest.
Hold-up tactics didn’t work out for him at Fontwell previously and his blunder at the last there surely contributed to over-cautious jumping when he was beaten by Mystical Knight.
Greatrex has had nearly a month to iron out any issues and the 6-year-old can bounce back if allowed to take control of this race from an early stage.
Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (Registered As The Leamington) (Grade 2) (5yo+, 2m 5f, Class 1, 7 runners)
Whatever Peter Fahey started putting in his food over the last summer seems to have worked wonders for Peregrine Run, who comes into this race off the back of 4 victories – including a very-impressive defeat of Wholestone in G2 company at Cheltenham in November.
That form looks solid, as Wholestone went on to win the G2 Bristol Novices’ Hurdle in December. Rebecca Curtis’ Geordie Des Champs looks the principle threat, although he suffered a setback at Newbury and none of his wins have come at a level even approaching this.
Both Ballyhill and Get On The Yager still have much to prove.
Classic Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (5yo+, 3m 5f 54y, Class 1, 20 runners)
An extremely open contest and one to look for each-way value in. Charlie Deutsch claims 3lb on Houblon Des Obeaux, winner of the G2 Denman Chase and 3rd in the Welsh Grand National.
Doctor Harper, One For Arthur, Viva Steve and Ballycross also appeal, but a small punt on last year’s winner (Russe Blanc) looks the order of the day here.
He’s not done much right since that victory but the gloom at Haydock couldn’t entirely hide signs of improvement. Jockey Richard Patrick claims a whopping 7lb and has a terrific strike-rate in this campaign, so far.
Kerry Lee has other interests in this renewal, but if our other bets don’t work out then hopefully Patrick can ride to our rescue upon his white horse!