Clerk's the Kempton choice
Anita Chambers has a selection for every race on Thursday and fancies Clerk's Choice to win at Kempton.
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KELSO: 1.55 Rainbow Peak, 2.25 Tour D'Argent, 2.55 The Panama Kid, 3.25 DOYLY CARTE (NAP) 3.55 Long Run, 4.25 Harbour Court, 4.55 Nearly May.
KEMPTON: 5.10 Vhujon, 5.40 Fab Lolly, 6.10 Bowie Boy, 6.40 Severiano, 7.10 Bapak Pesta, 7.40 Clerk's Choice, 8.10 Welsh Inlet.
LEICESTER: 2.10 Stormhoek, 2.40 Ultra Klass, 3.10 Kentford Legend, 3.40 Benefit Cut, 4.10 Knock A Hand, 4.40 Shy John.
DOUBLE: Doyly Carte and Long Run.
Long Run can make the most of the better ground and the favourable conditions in returning to winning ways in the Ivan Straker Memorial Chase at Kelso.
The 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner seems to have lost his way a little this season but a dip in class can see him back on form.
Nicky Henderson's charge also finished third in the last two Gold Cups and ran Sir Des Champs to less than a length at Punchestown on his final start last term, but this campaign has hardly gone to plan.
A terrible blunder ruled him out of the finish in the Charlie Hall at Wetherby, although he showed a little of his old sparkle when fourth in the Betfair Chase, albeit beaten 21 lengths by Cue Card.
He was not unfancied to claim a third King George win when equipped with a visor, but his jumping fell apart as he was battling for minor honours and he unshipped his rider at the final obstacle.
None of those results would equal a winning claim on the face of it, but the fact remains he has pounds in hand on the official ratings and as he has not won since December 2012 he also escapes any kind of penalty.
Better ground is also a massive plus and it would be something of a disappointment if Long Run could not get a first win of the year on the board.
The absence of My Tent Or Yours certainly takes some of the shine off the Timeform Morebattle Hurdle, but it does leave the way clear for Doyly Carte.
Last seen when beaten 15 lengths by the magnificent Annie Power at Doncaster, Doyly Carte is another who should thrive in less testing conditions.
She was hardly in the same league as Annie Power but her previous second on soft ground at Haydock was fair form, although the winner Rolling Star has since been beaten in two ultra-competitive handicaps.
Doyly Carte has a useful pull in the weights with some of her main rivals and can exploit that advantage to the full.
Benefit Cut can strike gold in the Cavalry Handicap Chase at Leicester.
Beaten by a decent type in Ballinvarig on his penultimate start, Benefit Cut bounced back to winning form with a wide-margin success at Market Rasen earlier this month.
His jumping improved throughout the race that day and while it was not the most competitive event, Benefit Cut won in the style of a progressive animal on what was actually only his second start over fences.
Clerk's Choice did not enjoy the rub of the green on his final outing of 2013 but he can make an ideal start to this year in the Cheltenham 2014 NRFB At BetVictor.com Handicap at Kempton.
The eight-year-old has proved a useful dual-purpose performer in recent seasons, but having shown his best form on better ground it makes sense to utilise any all-weather opportunities while the wet winter continues.
Now back with William Jarvis after a spell with owner-trainer Michael Banks and Oliver Sherwood, Clerk's Choice finished third over a mile and a half at this track back in November on what was his first run for seven months.
He then went on to Lingfield where he stepped up to two miles, staying on well to notch his first win in three years.
Clerk's Choice could not build on that on his most recent outing, with a modest early pace not playing to his strengths in better company.
He eventually finished a close-up sixth off what was a 6lb higher mark and the handicapper has seen fit to drop him a couple of pounds.
Clerk's Choice has clearly not been a regular winner in recent seasons but he is more than capable on his day and a sound early gallop would certainly be a major plus.
Bowie Boy has shown plenty of promise in two starts to date and can enjoy his moment in the spotlight in the Back Of The Net At BetVictor.com Median Auction Maiden Stakes.
He shaped well when third on his racecourse debut back in December before going down by just over two lengths in second in the middle of January.
Bowie Boy was a bit unfortunate that day as he was given plenty to do and while he was staying on well at the death, he never looked likely to catch the winner.
Nevertheless, that outing provided another good learning experience and Bowie Boy can put the lessons to good use.
Fab Lolly should be on the premises again in the BetVictor Non-Runner No Bet Cheltenham 2014 Handicap.
She has largely been a consistent runner until finishing a 20-length last at Wolverhampton in December.
Trainer James Bethell gave her a month break after that to get over her exertions and his patience was rewarded when she was beaten just a neck at this track last time out.
The handicapper has put her up another 2lb for that effort, but Fab Lolly seems to be on an upward curve and can deal with the rise.