Alan Alger: Racing tips for Kempton and the All-Weather
Our man reveals his best bets for both the National Hunt card and Betway-sponsored meetings at Lingfield and Wolverhampton.
2.40 – Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle (Kempton)
Hopefully the 16 scheduled runners will all make it to post for the feature race of the day and ensure that four places are paid out on the each-way market.
For such a competitive handicap, it’s a real surprise that we haven’t had a double-figure winner in the last decade, with the average price of the last nine coming in at just over 5/1, though only three clear favourites have won in that time.
And of the fancied runners, it is William Henry who looks the best.
However, placed horses have produced a slightly better return for those aiming at the higher end of the market, with 10 of the last 21 horses to place returning at odds of 10/1 or better, including 100/1 shot Romeo Americo which followed 2013 winner Oscara Dara home.
Three of the last four winners have been ridden by jockeys with weight allowances, which is well worth keeping in mind, while horses older than eight have a poor win and place record.
Interestingly, three of the last seven winners came from the Nick Williams stable, and his entries this year in Dentley De Mee and particularly Man From Mars look way overpriced and represent good investments each-way.
2.05 – Listed Chase (Kempton)
This high-quality field of only six runners is a real puzzle at this stage of the season.
Nicky Henderson has won this race the last two years and his Josses Hill certainly ticks a few boxes.
However, this looks a very good opportunity for God’s Own to get back to winning ways.
A winner of the Irish Champion Chase in 2016 which followed a success at Aintree, he has been highly-tried since.
In five runs at Kempton he’s always been in the first three and can turn the tables on Smad Place who beat him comfortably at Aintree back in October.
He likely needed the run that day and, at his age, he should be in prime condition with a couple of months of recovery under his belt.
Trainer Tom George has had a good record in the last two weeks and can add to it here.
Elsewhere at Kempton
The conditions of the 3.15 Handicap Chase should suit Ballykan from the in-form Nigel Twiston-Davies stable.
He’s done most of his winning in small fields and can take advantage here away from the hurly-burly of his recent races.
Don Bersy can also add to the honours list of young horses that have won the 3.45 Handicap Hurdle.
Five and six-year-olds are responsible for all winners during the last decade.
All-Weather fancies from Lingfield and Wolverhampton
In the 12.15 at Lingfield, the big step up in trip could pay dividends each-way for Amenta in a tight seller where the market is dominated by an odds-on shot.
She showed a glimmer of ability when second at Chepstow in the summer and at least one angle on her breeding suggests this trip could suit.
In the 2.35, Qassem looks the one for the Melbourne 10 ownership team. He seems a few steps ahead of their other entry Cliffs Of Capri and should confirm favouritism.
The 6.45 at Wolverhampton is over their maximum trip of 2m½f.
Indian Red looks best-placed to deliver a late run under Joey Haynes and scoop this prize.
The gelding keeps getting better with each run and wasn’t too far away at Newcastle last time.
Cool Spirit looks to be in a match with Desert Doctor in the 8.15.
I’d take James Given’s three-year-old to bring up the double as he looked to have more to give when winning at Catterick back in August.