PADDOCKS PATENT (WEDNESDAY)
Harry’s Farewell bolted up in a Novice Hurdle on heavy ground at Kempton when last seen and was two from two in points when last encountering fences. The yard sent out a winner with their last runner and with testing conditions looking his preference, he is taken to cause a minor upset off his low weight. Warren Greatrex has his yard in fine form and is represented by Ballyculla in this, he has every chance of keeping up the yards fine strike rate but is likely to be short enough and has never won first time up. He is obviously respected but perhaps a bigger danger to the selection is Minellahalfcentury, he has plenty to find with Ballyculla on hurdles form but has had a wind operation in the off season and could improve considerably for it.
Harry’s Farewell (WIN)
This looks a warm race for this time of year with Cheltenham and Aintree festival form on the table, Clondaw Kaempfer had always promised to land a big prize and finally did so at Aintree in a hot looking Grade Three Handicap. There are likely to be longer term targets for the McCain challenger though and on last seasons evidence, he looks a type who takes some getting ready. Kentucky Hyden has only one win from ten attempts and has filled the runner up spot on five different occasions, it would be very harsh to question him on that score though and his second in last seasons Triumph Hurdle is probably the best piece of form on offer. The winner of the aforementioned Triumph has already franked the form this term and with the step up in trip looking likely to suit, he can reward the faith. El Macca looks the one likeliest to take advantage should the form principles fail, he has plenty to find on the book but has a featherweight and is respected.
Kentucky Hyden (WIN)
As a general rule of thumb I’d usually avoid midweek All Weather meetings, they do of course play an important role in racing and occasionally you will find an intriguing sort. Red Dragon hasn’t won since doing so at this venue in February 2013, he’s three pounds lower now though and has been threatening to end the barren spell of late. His last run can probably be forgotten given the ground was desperate and his form before that was much more encouraging, including a decent second to the progressive Last Minute Lisa two starts back. The booking of seven pounds claimer Chris Meehan seems another positive for Michael Blanchard’s charge and effectively leaves him over ten pounds well in on earlier placed efforts, he therefore looks an intriguingly handicapped horse and is taken to reward punters at around 10/1. The likely favourite is Mcbirney whom was heavily backed last time and eventually finishing second, he has major claims off the same mark today but looked a little reluctant and couldn’t be given at short odds.
Red Dragon (E/W if 5/1+)
by Chris Connolly