Wyck to light up Kempton
Man On The Spot previews Saturday's televised racing from Kempton and Newcastle.
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13.30 Kempton Rewards4Racing Handicap Chase
A tricky opener as most of these would have some sort of chance on their best form. Escort'men was due to run at Warwick yesterday, however, while Lucy's Legend has struggled since being upped in grade. Storming Gale is gradually getting his act together and was beaten less than two lengths over 3m here last time while Milarrow was second over course and distance on Boxing Day and filled the same spot behind Politeo at Wincanton. Mickelson is still a maiden over fences but was a decent hurdler and can't be ignored, though we prefer LEXICON LAD. He's well treated on his defeat of Loch Ba at Warwick last season and the heavy ground was to blame for him being pulled up last time at Cheltenham. Stablemate Triangular is preferred to Ludlow winner Filbert and Midnight Sail of the others.
14.05 Kempton Racing UK Subscribe For Cheltenham Adonis Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2)
IRISH SAINT couldn't quite hold off Rolling Star at Cheltenham but that's still top-class juvenile form and he'd won easily over this course and distance on his UK debut when Shadarpour was tailed off. Paul Nicholls won this in 2011 with Zarkandar and his French import can follow suit before heading for The Festival. Chris Pea Green has done well over hurdles and impressed in a hot contest at Huntingdon earlier this month. However, this is easily his toughest task to date as he is giving 3lb to Vasco Du Ronceray, placed in Grade 2 contests at Cheltenham and Doncaster since winning at Hereford, and 7lb to L'unique. Alan King's filly is on a hat-trick after following up her Aintree Listed win with another success over this track and trip. Foster's Road looks to be out of his depth while newcomer Courtesy Call may need the experience and a longer trip, though was a very decent stayer on the Flat and still holds an entry in the Triumph Hurdle.
14.20 Newcastle Betfred Mobile Lotto Handicap Hurdle
Mwaleshi recorded a hat-trick at the end of last year but has found life tougher in this grade off a much higher mark since then and looks in the handicapper's grip. ROBBIE makes more appeal despite having to cope with a 9lb rise after also landing a treble as Keith Reveley's charge scored easily at Doncaster last time and there looks more to come. Stablemate Crowning Jewel may struggle in this grade and Woody Waller and Stormy Weather have been well beaten over fences of late but Lady Bluesky could make the frame again after finishing runner-up at Ayr.
14.55 Newcastle Betfred Eider (Handicap Chase)
Chac Du Cadran built on the promise of his earlier placed efforts when winning in good style over 3m6f at Catterick last month though he's been upped 11lb for his trouble. Cool Operator is enjoying a new lease of life and remains on a decent mark compared to his best form having landed a double at the end of last year while Mortimers Cross beat Captain Americo a length over 4m at Kelso in December. The latter re-opposes on better terms today and makes more appeal than Rhum who beat Big Occasion at Wetherby last time. Monsieur Cadou has a shout and Grand National entry Tarquinius makes the trip over from Ireland having gone close at Gowran on his latest start. Comply Or Die carried top weight to victory in this in 2008, the year he won the Grand National, and trainer David Pipe sets MASTER OVERSEER a similar task. Fresh from defeating Desperate Dex at Wincanton, form that gives him the beating of Chac Du Cadran, Tom Bellamy's claim negates a 5lb rise and he gets the vote.
15.15 Kempton William Hill Dovecote Novices' Hurdle (Grade 2)
Brick Red has rattled up a hat-trick in handicaps since the turn of the year but has to give weight to some potentially decent novices here and may be found wanting. Forgotten Voice may have needed the run when fourth to Whitby Jack here last month while Nicky Henderson also runs Black Spirit, a Group 3 winner on the Flat last year. He'll enjoy the better ground but so will FAIR TRADE, who has already shown plenty of promise over timber at Ascot and Newbury and beat a useful field in a jumpers' bumper here last month. Fancied for the Supreme Novices' at Cheltenham, he'll have to win this to earn his place. Lac Fontana was only beaten two lengths by Chatterbox on his hurdling debut at Newbury and will be winning soon but Flat winner Figaro hasn't run since finishing tailed off in last year's Northumberland Plate, though this is his ground.
15.50 Kempton Racing Plus Chase (Grade 3 Handicap)
Philip Hobbs has farmed this valuable handicap in recent years but 2011 winner Quinz has failed to complete in three runs since that victory and Duke Of Lucca may find this an insufficient test of stamina. Paul Nicholls has saddled the favourite in the last five years and Rolling Aces will be popular with punters here. Progressive, he's on a hat-trick and should confirm latest Wincanton running with Opening Batsman while last year's winner Nacarat has been targeted at the race again and should be thereabouts. He can confirm 2012 form with Hector's Choice. This is an easy track so Quantitativeeasing has a chance of getting home and is feasibly weighted if doing so but it must be significant that McCoy prefers J P McManus' other runner WYCK HILL. David Bridgwater has no qualms about going to war with the big boys if he thinks he has the ammunition and his nine-year-old looks a blot on the handicap on his defeat of Gold Cup hopeful Katenko at Ascot in December when Roberto Goldback was a remote third. Summery Justice is a couple of pounds out of the handicap but ran a nice race on his reappearance and could run into a place.