PADDOCKS PATENT (MONDAY)
Our first race of the day sees five go to post for a class five nursery where Mecado looks likely to go off as favourite. On his last run in September he beat the re-opposing Chetan by a neck and the form of this race holds up well, with both Chetan and Khawaater (who finished third) winning since. Jockey Cam Hardies 3lb claim means that he is effectively 1lb lower in the weights today, whereas Chetan is now 10lbs higher than when they last met. With two wins from four he would seem the obvious selection but both wins have come over shorter distances and on both previous attempts over todays’ trip he has seemed a little one paced inside the final furlong.
A chance is taken on Biting Bullets, a horse who has improved since switching from turf to the tapeta surface and won on his last run at Wolves last month. He is the only proven distance winner in the race and if transferring this form on to the all-weather track here then he could be the one to beat the favourite.
Biting Bullets (WIN)
We quickly move over to Wolves for our second selection of the day, where Uncle Bernie is taken to maintain his 100% record over course and distance having already notched up three wins from three. He has a penalty to carry but was a comfortable four length winner last week and all four of his career wins have been here at Wolves.
Mister Bob looks to be the biggest danger in terms of recent form with three wins in his last five runs. He is probably a little high in the weights now though, having been upped a further 4lbs despite only managing to finish second over track and trip last month.
Hidden Justice is another to consider, a winner on turf, over jumps and on the all-weather. He hasn’t raced on tapeta before but did win at Lingfield over seven furlongs in 2011, the last time he was seen on an all-weather surface.
At a likely each way price Buckland should not be discounted. He attempts todays’ trip for the first time and hasn’t won since notching up a four timer eighteen months ago but has a strike rate of just over 50% for finishes within the top three when running on an all-weather surface.
Uncle Bernie (WIN)
We return to Kempton for our final race of the day and take a chance on Dana’s Present who is the only course and distance winner in the field.
The selection has won three and placed four times from eighteen attempts on the all-weather, a strike rate of just under a 40%. He has been running with credit in class five races recently so today sees a drop down in grade. A further positive is that he has dropped down to a mark of 60 but has previously won off a mark of 65.
The forecast early favourite is Little Indian who is also back down below his last winning mark but is passed over as he hasn’t made the frame in six attempts over todays trip since his last win and has ran here at Kempton five times without success.
Port Lairge is the only one of the eleven runners who has a recent win to his name but has never made the frame in five attempts on the all-weather so cannot be backed with any conviction.
Dana’s Present (E/W)