Set for a Kempton Ball
Man On The Spot previews Kempton's card on Thursday as well as the feature action from Leopardstown.
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12:25 Kempton: William Hill - iPad App Now Available Juvenile Hurdle
Irish Saint is sure to be popular in this opener having his first start for Paul Nicholls. Despite starting at big odds, he won a Listed race for Guy Cherel at Auteuil in September on his hurdles bow and today's going won't be a problem. But, receiving 4lb, we like the look of CAPTAIN CARDINGTON. A real mud-lark, Sheena West's gelding impressed at Sandown earlier this month and also won on heavy ground on the Flat in October. McVicar won here and at Huntingdon before finding Grade 2 company too strong at Cheltenham last time. He should also make his presence felt but newcomers Allowed and Shadarpour may need the experience.
12:55 Kempton: williamhill.com Novices' Chase (Registered As The Wayward Lad Novices' Chase) (Grade 2)
SIMONSIG makes a swift reappearance after a hugely impressive debut over the larger obstacles at Ascot last week. He already looks a natural over fences and his proven stamina will be an advantage on the ground, despite the drop in distance. He will be a short price to keep his unbeaten record intact and is difficult to oppose with Hinterland proving no real match for the selection's stablemate Captain Conan at Sandown. Royale's Charter is essentially a handicapper as is Wings Of Smoke, who also needs further, while Itoldyou looks well out of his depth.
13:30 Kempton: william Hill - New iPad App Mares' Handicap Hurdle
One Lucky Lady's second at Sandown was a good start to the season and she should be suited by 3m this term. Tempest River looks held on the form book. Miss Milborne won at Wincanton before finishing second in a Listed race over C&D last month and can't be ignored as Kaffie was back in fourth that day, though will strip fitter now. Swincombe Flame could be happier back over hurdles but the trip could be a problem while Silver Gypsy struggles to get her head in front. BUNGLASHA LADY beat Madame Jasmine over 3m2f at Plumpton and clearly wasn't fit when pulled up behind Tweedledrum at Ascot on her reappearance. Warren Greatrex' mare can score again here.
14:05 Kempton: William Hill Levy Board Peterborough Chase (Grade 2)
For Non Stop was withdrawn from yesterday's King George VI Chase as the 3m may have stretched his stamina on heavy ground. He has a big chance in this, however, as he was trying to give Captain Chris 6lb at Ascot last month. He still finished ahead of Ghizao and should confirm that form here. Menorah's jumping is still a concern and, like French Opera, has shown his best form over 2m so the one to beat may be HUNT BALL. A real money-spinner last season, he could be excused his run under a big weight in the Paddy Power and he'd probably need to win this if he's to live up to Kieren Burke's expectations later in the campaign. Mr Gardner would struggle to trouble these, even if fully wound-up after a long absence.
14:40 Kempton: williamhill.com Desert Orchid Chase (Grade 2)
Sanctuaire paid the price for trying to run the finish out of Sprinter Sacre in the Tingle Creek and was overhauled by the more patiently-ridden Kumbeshwar on the run to the last. He could easily reverse that form today if ridden with more restraint but Alan King's five-year-old is actually 4lb better off so must be given the chance to prove that run was no fluke. Idarah and His Excellency were fourth and fifth and look held. WISHFULL THINKING hasn't quite hit the heights expected over fences but is no slouch and was well below his best when behind Sanctuaire at Sandown in the spring. Better off at the weights now, he can exact revenge and land this after a confidence-booster at Cheltenham.
15:15 Kempton: William Hill - No.1 Downloaded Betting App Handicap Chase
Plenty in with a chance in this but Rolling Aces was due to run at Wincanton yesterday while Spirit River has yet to reproduce his form over hurdles since tackling fences. Sizing Santiago and Our Bomber Harris are closely matched on Newbury running while Mister Hyde got back to winning ways at Market Rasen and Brackloon High and Politeo should be winning soon. BUFFALO BOB is the senior runner here and has been below par so far this term. But this is his ground and a sharp 3m should be right up his street - he could go close at generous odds in a competitive contest.
15:45 Kempton: Download The William Hill App Handicap Hurdle
French raider Albert Hall has had three runs on the Flat since completing his hat-trick over hurdles at Vichy in August. Blinkers could help wake up the useful Bourne while Dildar has plenty of scope and is unlikely to be inconvenienced by the fact that this is his first run of the campaign. Ivor's King was in great form in the autumn but All The Aces looks high enough in the weights and Able Deputy fell when favourite at Haydock on Saturday. SCORCHED SON has a penalty for his victory at Ffos Las 10 days ago but the ground is in his favour again and, if back to his best, he may take some stopping here.
13:25 Leopardstown: Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase (Grade 1)
This is Big Zeb's race with him having won it three times in the past four years. However, once again he comes up against the brilliant SIZING EUROPE and Henry De Bromhead's star can't be opposed. He had Big Zeb 15 lengths behind when landing the Tied Cottage at Punchestown in February and has returned to action better than ever, cruising to victory in a couple of Grade 2s over 2m4f and setting himself up for the championship races to come. It's hard to imagine Rubi Light having the pace to match the champion as his best form has been over 2m4f, which included the John Durkan a year ago. Forpadydeplasterer was six lengths behind Big Zeb in this last year while Paul Nicholls' entry Edgardo Sol lacks experience over fences though he wouldn't be travelling here without good reason and A P McCoy has been booked.
14:00 Leopardstown: Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle (Grade 1)
Hurricane Fly is the only favourite to have won this in the past nine years. Some fine prospects arrive here including Sizing Rio, already a Grade 3 winner over timber at Navan and looking potentially top-notch. There's more to come from him but he'll need to improve against the likes of WAAHEB and Jezki with the former just handed the vote. Dermot Weld's charge has only been beaten once when a short-head runner-up in the Champion Bumper at Punchestown in May. He made a fine start over hurdles at Fairyhouse and has every chance of going to the top. That remark also applies to Jezki, already a winner at the highest level and still improving. He'll take all the beating once again but the remainder will all need to make progress against a trio of very bright prospects.