We start off in a Novices’ Hurdle ran over the extended 2m1f trip.
General Ginger and Take A Break both have experience over hurdles and have both been success. Harry Fry trains General Ginger and he has won twice including in good style at Newton Abbot 23 days ago. He sets the standard but for me this could come to one of the jumping newcomers.
In his Racing Post stable tour Alan King said that Board Of Trade is ready to run and that after winning his bumper on debut he had to be operated on but was able to put that behind him to win well at Haydock in March. On debut he beat Wishfull Dreaming, who has since won over hurdles and his overall form from those two bumpers is working out nicely. Alan King’s yard couldn’t be in much better form after wins for Grumeti in the Cesarewitch and then for Oceane, a nice looking type at Kempton on Sunday.
Mr Mix is having his first run for Paul Nicholls since his switch from France and is interesting, especially if there is money put down backing the grey. Of the rest there is Bigmartre, who is trained by Harry Whittington and is having his first run for the trainer. He’s been chasing for his previous trainer and reverts to hurdles here. This four-year-old is a son of Montmarte, who has sired some good jumpers from a relatively small sample size, so is one to watch. Gavin Sheehan has two wins from five rides for this trainer and is booked to take the ride here.
Board Of Trade (WIN)
The second race to focus on is Division II of a Maiden Hurdle. This looks the weaker division than the first division but there could still be a couple of nice types lining up.
This could present the perfect opportunity for Captain McGinley to get off the mark. Rebecca Curtis’ charge has placed in all four bumpers and has form up against Hollies Pearl, who won an Aintree bumper and recently made a winning start over obstacles at Chepstow. All four of his runs have decent speed figures and he should be suited by this 2m4f trip. In time this son of Robin Des Pres could make a useful chaser. At his current price he is an each-way shot to nothing against the odds-on favourite.
The main danger looks to be Bangor bumper winner Nutcracker Prince, who has recently had three unsuccessful starts on the flat. Shaun Lycett’s runner drew clear of his rivals at Bangor and on his start before the win he was a narrow second to Wishfull Dreaming, who has since won over hurdles.
Paul Nicholls has won this race twice in the last five years and it will see the return of Alcala after a year absence. The grey returns in the first time hood and had good form from two starts in France but was unable to replicate that on these shores. On his stable debut he was fourth in the grade 2 Adonis Juvenile Hurdle won by Activial, but he then disappointed at Exeter. If fully tuned up he could take the beating under Sean Bowen.
Captain McGinley (E/W)
We conclude in a seven-furlong handicap under the lights at Kempton in a competitive race.
Tactically it is a race where there is a lack of pace, so whatever makes the running could make it a messy race by setting a steady gallop and then trying to quicken away in the closing stages.
Ustinov heads the market after a taking victory at Wolverhampton 19-days ago. Since then the handicapper has put him up 4lb, so he isn’t unduly punished and has a good opportunity to complete the hat-trick for David O’Meara.
However there could be value lurking elsewhere. Yeeoow was beaten by Spring Loaded over six furlongs 15-days ago and the Paul D’Arcy runner won yesterday at Windsor boosting that form. Karl Burke’s six-year-old shaped like this trip could suit but he’s only had one try at it plus he’s drawn wide.
Commodore has ran to a consistent level and been given too much to do late on in his races. The run of three seconds tell that story and from a good draw in stall three he could be the one to take the bulls by the horns and take advantage of the better draw than the favourite. He’s been knocking on the door and gets the vote. Elemraan has been running over further on his last two starts and Roger Charlton’s charge could jump out of stall one and try to make all, so is one to take some interest in.