We start on the flat for a five-furlong sprint. This time last week over this course and distance the first three home were drawn in stalls eight, nine and ten in a race of ten runners. Therefore a high draw up on the nearside rail could be the way to go.
Sir Billy Wright is owned by the Shropshire Wolves and is drawn in stall 13. This four-year-old scored twice in eight days at Ffos Las where he found the track and conditions ideal, which gives you optimism. If running up to the level of the second of those wins, which was in a good time figure, he should be thereabouts. Ed Greatrex claims 5lb taking him to an attractive look mark. He had an off day at York when last seen but can be forgiven by that.
Michael Herrington’s Mercers Row was a winner at Pontefract 16-days ago but this eight-year-old will have to put in a career best effort off his mark of 80 to double up here. He has had one run here previously finishing second and isn’t drawn too badly in stall 11.
Snow Cloud is one of David O’Meara’s pair in this race and this son of Kodiac is one the handicapper isn’t tending to give a chance too. Six of his last seven runs have been off this mark and that is why Josh Doyle is getting the leg up to take off 7lb and is likely to go well. Michael Appleby won this race last year with It Must Be Faith and he has top weight Appleberry, who has been in better races than this but drawn in stall one could be hard work.
Indian Tinker was second here last week and went off favourite for Robert Cowell. He is fairly consistent for a sprinter and is likely to get himself involved, so he may be worth a look in the place markets.
Sir Billy Wright (E/W)
We then take in a staying handicap hurdle over two-miles-seven-furlongs at Chepstow.
Philip Hobbs’ string have been in decent knick and Sykes continued that when dead-heating with Optimistic Bias at Aintree ten-days ago. He remains off the same mark and looks the one to beat with more to come from this less exposed six-year-old.
For value purposes in a race with this each-way shape I’d take a chance on Billy Dutton for Chris Down. He has been off the track for 558-days but was last seen finishing a close second over course and distance to Rydon Pynes. He’ll be ridden prominently and is very likely to see out this trip. The only slight concern would be race sharpness but at this price he gets the vote after placing on all three visits to this course.
The Eaglehaslanded wasn’t particularly convincing despite winning at Exeter at odds of 4/7. It wasn’t the strongest of races but he did just enough. There is likely more to come but for me he may not be one to trust at short odds. Princess Tara for the Bowen yard is fairly consistent and might be one to catch at a price as he tends to go well enough fresh.
Billy Dutton (E/W)
It’s a long wait but this listed race over one-mile-four-furlongs is arguably race of the day.
The market has opened up and seems to be concentrating on Fire Fighting and Grendisar at the top however Dartmouth is being overlooked. He is still only three-years-old and has been running in competitive handicaps throughout the summer. He finished sixth at Royal Ascot to Space Age before reversing that form on his next start. This is his first taste of the poly track but he is a son of Dubawi who has a good record with his progeny on the all-weather.
Fire Fighting has been on the go all summer, having nearly two runs per month, but he has won his last two races including a listed contest at Dundalk where he won convincingly. If he puts in a performance up to that level then he is the one to beat considering he holds the most recent form over Grendisar.
Marco Botti’s charge Grendisar is an all-weather specialist and has never been out of the first three in his ten appearances here at Kempton – winning three. His most recent form has since him bumping into the like of Tryster and he has possibly being running at a trip that he isn’t as suited to, so the step back up in trip could benefit him.
Of the rest then Hamelin warrants respect and has good form on the synthetic surfaces. However he’ll need to show more against these classy rivals.
Dartmouth (E/W if 9/2+)