11th January 2019
We’re down at Kempton for tomorrow’s target race – the Listed-class Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle at 2.40….
A decent-sized 15-runner field goes to post on good ground with no rain forecast….
Just 10lbs separate the top-weight from the bottom-weight. That might make things a little easier for those most burdened with most lead….
Plenty arrive at Kempton in good heart. Half a dozen won at the last time of asking. Another four found just one too good on their previous assignment. It promises to be competitive….
Gary Moore’s Kloud Gate (7/2) and the Paul Nicholls-trained Darling Maltaix (7/1) are two of those last-time-out winners. They are the one-two in the betting. But neither will find it easy having been raised 12lbs for those successes….
I am happy to look elsewhere at the prices….
We’ll get to my selections for tomorrow’s race in a moment….
First a quick word on what you missed on my paid ATC service this week….
The Classic Handicap Chase at Warwick tomorrow afternoon offers-up another one of those tight and cautious markets – with more than half the runners trading at single-figure prices….
It’s a wide-open affair. The bookies don’t have any ultra-strong opinion and the money that might offer informed direction is yet to land….
But I’m not waiting for the wider market to show its hand. I’ve spotted a horse that offers a little value at the prices. I reckon it’s well-handicapped and primed for a big performance….
You can get immediate access to this extra bet on the website when you take a FREE 14-day test drive of my Against the Crowd service….
Back to tomorrow’s target race and the pick of the prices….
15/2 is not a traditional price for this column but I really fancy Peter Bowen’s LORD NAPIER and I want to have him onside….
He was 6th in the Swinton at Haydock back in May and he looked like a horse running into form at the first-time of asking this term at Wincanton over 2-miles….
He was sent to Ascot last time for the G3 Betfair Exchange Trophy – again over 2-miles – where he finished 6th of the 21. He got run off his feet at crucial stages in that race, but he kept on very nicely and he wasn’t beaten miles at the end….
He’s more experienced than plenty of tomorrow’s opponents having been campaigned on the flat and the AW when housed with John Ryan, but he’s only had 8 goes over hurdles and his last four have shown real promise….
A mark of 130 is not beyond him if or when the key is discovered. And that key might well prove to be the step back up to 2m5f tomorrow.
He’s won twice at the trip – albeit in modest events – but on his last showing the extra yardage could well be what he needs to kick on again….
I think he’ll like the decent ground and he likes going right-handed. He can run a big race….
Last time he was seen back in November he was getting beaten 7-lengths by Lisp – giving that one 3lb….
That one is now rated 145 and whilst he beat And The New fair and square, I wonder if the Farrelly horse was 100% that day….
He’s had a wind-op in the meantime, he sports a first-time tongue-tie tomorrow in combination with the regular hood – and he could be an improved horse for the tinkering….
I note with interest that Johnny Farrelly is keen to try the horse again at 2m5f despite the horse putting in a clunker on the one and only occasion he’s been tried at the trip….
It suggests – to me at least – that something wasn’t right that day and that the performance isn’t a solid indicator of whether or not the horse gets the trip….
Farrelly’s persistence indicates that he reckons the horse will stay. And, at the price, I’m happy-enough to give the horse another chance to prove it….
He’s only had five goes over hurdles and he can prove quite a bit better than a mark of 133….
The Pick of the Prices….
To recap on where my contrarian money will be going tomorrow afternoon….
In the Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle (2.40 @ Kempton).
That is my take on where the value lies – but you will no doubt have your own ideas and that’s exactly as it should be.
That’s all from me this week.
Enjoy your weekend.