13:50 Hereford This maiden hurdle looks an open heat and it might be worth siding with Boutan for Bernard Llewellyn. His four year old is the only filly in the line up and receives weight from all of her rivals, which might also be a help in this heavy ground. She went well at Ffos Las when only beaten a short head when a slight error at the last probably cost her. With her form on the flat she has the required acceleration that some of these might lack. The most interesting runner in this field is Long Call. He’s been sent across from Ireland by Tony Martin to run here and he has Davy Russell on board. Three goes in Irish Maiden Hurdles have yielded little but this does look a weak race, so he could take advantage of his experience. Being by Authorized this ground shouldn’t be a worry and has to be on the shortlist. Oliver Greenall is represented by Quids In and there was enough on hurdles debut at Wetherby 15-days ago to suggest there was a race of this nature in him. This Pour Moi gelding is likely to enjoy the testing ground and if running to a similar level of form as of Wetherby then he is a contender. Boutan (WIN)

16:30 Newcastle A sprint handicap to close the card at Newcastle where eight runners are set to take their chance. Royal Celebration ran a creditable fourth over track and trip from out of the handicap this time last week when just failing to have the extra gear to go with the front three. Bryan Smart’s charge is back on the correct mark and with Nathan Evans on board claiming a further 3lb he looks extremely well treated to get off the mark after running well in a couple of maidens, including the one here in December when bumping into a subsequent winner. From a low mark he can take advantage in this weak looking race. Affordability is the obvious pace angle in the race and could get it easy out in front, so if Joe Fanning get the fractions right from the drop of the flag this son of Bushranger could prove hard to catch. He has struggled in races and hasn’t gone on from his promising debut effort in May. Snuggy is one that holds her form without winning. A former tracker horse of mine after showing promise for David Barron and got her reward at Leicester in August. She stayed on well in a Nursery to take third late on at Kempton last time but she is quite a small framed filly, so it seems a good move to put up 7lb claimer Lewis Edmunds up to remove some of the burden – Edmunds has a 25% strike rate on this course. Royal Celebration (WIN)

18:45 Kempton A Wednesday night under the lights at Kempton but for how long for? This six furlong handicap has one improving sort mixed with a few old hands. Jeremy Gask’s Born To Finish is bidding for a hat-trick after looking rejuvenated following a wind operation. His winning run started at Lingfield on New Year’s Eve but coming out just six-days ago to go in once again in decent style. David Parkes claims 5lb and with the trainer having four winners from his last seven you have to rate him the main contender in this field while still in this class. One veteran in this field is 12 year old Triple Dream, who finished third to Born To Finish at Lingfield. He’s better off at the weights in this one and is slightly better drawn. Milton Bradley’s charge last won off a mark of 65 and is 4lb lower than that plus he has three previous wins here, so there is plenty to like about his chances. Major Valentine won at Wolverhampton 32-days ago but will struggle to employ the same tactics from this draw. At Dunstall Park he made all to hold off Compton Prince but from stall 10 he is unlikely to get the lead but he has won twice over course and distance coming from off the pace and with Adam Kirby booked he can hit the frame. Triple Dream (E/W if 9/2+)

[wpsm_comparison_table id=”2″ class=””]

Follow Matthew on Twitter

1 view