Chorister to hit winning note
Chris Wilson says Midnight Chorister ought to go pretty well at Kempton on Thursday - he has a tip in every race.
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CORK: 2.45 Shamsikhan, 3.20 Rebel Fitz, 3.55 On My Own, 4.25 Some Officer, 5.00 Sonny B, 5.30 Andiamos, 6.00 Killer Crow.
FFOS LAS: 1.50 King Of Glory, 2.20 Dungeness, 2.55 Lord Fox, 3.30 Our Island, 4.00 Lac Sacre, 4.35 Red Watch, 5.05 Blaklion.
KEMPTON: 5.35 Wannabe Your Man, 6.05 Liberty Red, 6.35 MIDNIGHT CHORISTER (NAP), 7.05 Cravat, 7.35 Passing Star, 8.05 Mill I Am, 8.35 Plough Boy.
SOUTHWELL: 2.00 Arabian Flight, 2.30 Willy Brennan, 3.05 Pull The Pin, 3.40 The Lock Master, 4.10 Marina Ballerina, 4.45 Razin' Hell, 5.15 Bladewood Girl.
WOLVERHAMPTON: 2.10 Goldmadchen, 2.40 Spes Nostra, 3.15 Dubai Celebration, 3.50 Zamra, 4.20 Captain Midnight, 4.55 Proclamationofwar, 5.25 Katmai River.
DOUBLE: Midnight Chorister and Captain Midnight.
Midnight Chorister ought to go pretty well on his handicap debut at Kempton.
The Alex Hales-trained six-year-old has hitherto had a rather nomadic career as he began life in National Hunt bumpers last year.
But middle-distance Flat races appear to have brought out the best in him, and he can take the next step along the ladder in the Free £25 No Lose Bet Handicap.
Midnight Chorister has improved in three all-weather starts at Lingfield this year, with his most recent outing especially encouraging.
The gelded son of Midnight Legend was clearly unsuited by a lackadaisical pace in a mile-and-a-half maiden, but he still showed a nice bit of boot towards the finish to take third spot.
Hales' inmate came from a pretty uncompromising wide position that day, so his three-quarters-of-a-length defeat to Highfields Dancer should perhaps be upgraded in the context of how the race was run.
Before that, he was also a big eyecatcher when a fast-finishing third behind Devon Drum.
A mark of 68 is not exactly generous ahead of the Free £25 No Lose Bet Handicap, but he is arguably the most progressive horse, relatively speaking, in what is an uninspiring line-up.
Captain Midnight enjoyed a respectable juvenile campaign and can carry on the good work in the 32Red Handicap at Wolverhampton.
David Brown's Bushranger colt was highly tried in his salad days, running 11 times and winning a good handicap at Beverley last summer.
Since then he has fared creditably in far better races than this, most significantly finishing just half a length in arrears of the prolific Viva Verglas over five furlongs here in October.
Things went a little awry on his next start over this course and distance, but Captain Midnight was badly hampered at a critical stage and was allowed to come home in his own time.
Brown has given him a nice little breather since then so he should be ready, willing and particularly able now he has been given time to develop in winter quarters.
Those who have kept the faith with Marina Ballerina can receive handsome redemption after the Coral Mobile Just Three Clicks To Bet Handicap at Southwell.
Roy Bowring's mare blew out spectacularly over a mile and a half at this track at the beginning of the month, but that was definitely not her true running.
Her solid course form, which included a commanding maiden success on New Year's Day, adds weight to that argument.
Even in spite of that recent blip, Marina Ballerina should be considered a danger to all at this lowly grade.
Our Island could have the Tanners Wines Handicap Chase at Ffos Las at his mercy.
The nine-year-old, trained by Tim Vaughan, is likely to remain bang in contention off a chase mark of 115 following his game effort over course and distance a week and a half ago.
Our Island jumped well at the Welsh circuit and only went down by a length to Tullyraine, with the third horse home never sighted.
Ninth in the Eider on his penultimate outing, there is clearly more to come from him off his current rating if his best form is factored into the equation.
He also has winning form on decent ground over hurdles at Ffos Las.