By News Team
21st February 2020
Most of racing’s big guns have their yards in order for the most important four days in the jump racing calendar, but a few are just putting in the final bits of preparation at Kempton on Saturday.
Earn some wedge with King at Kempton
The Grade 2 Adonis Juvenile Hurdle (1.50pm) at Kempton is about the last chance trainers will have to get a good run into their Festival novice hurdle hopefuls and a good field of nine are set to line up.
Solo is the talk of the town in Somerset, with Paul Nicholls’ French recruit a short price to make a winning debut on UK soil. He holds entries in both the Fred Winter and the Triumph so is clearly a horse with lofty expectations, but he’ll have to live right up to them as he’s conceding weight all round.
Alan King does very well with former Flat horses transferring their talent to the jumps and he’s double-handed here. After a pleasing couple of runs in Ireland, Tremwedge (12/1) was maybe slightly disappointing on his UK bow at Newbury a fortnight ago. That looked a very strong race, though, with the winner, Chantry House, now right in the mix for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival.
Tremwedge was just over 10 lengths back in seventh so shouldn’t be ignored here even though Tom Cannon has got off him to ride stablemate Blame It On Sally (10/1). Both should be backable each-way prices so it could be worth covering off the two outcomes.
Blame It On Sally was fairly useful on the Flat, winning three times from 1m4f – 2m and finishing ahead of Grandee (top rating of 103 on the Flat) on his last start for Sir Mark Prescott, so he could be very dangerous if taking to hurdles first time out.
Perk looks Just the type in handicap chase
In the big handicap (3.35pm) race of the day at Kempton, old favourite Black Corton will be shouldering top-weight with Bryony Frost in the saddle and the partnership are always a force to be reckoned with. His Kempton form reads 2121 and, with Frost riding, has filled the first two spots in six of his last eight runs. The pair should be right in the mix again but you have to be wary of something lurking lower down the weights in a race like this.
Seven of the last 10 winners carried 11st or less and Harry Fry’s runner Just A Sting sneaks in off 10st 4lbs which looks more than fair considering his latest win. He’s gone up just 3lbs for winning over course and distance the day after Boxing Day, and given he’s a fairly lightly-raced eight-year-old there could be a bit more to come at 6/1.
Another of the lesser exposed runners is Dr Richard Newland’s Dashing Perk at 12/1. The Grand National-winning trainer has given him just two runs since October 2018, having also undergone a wind op ahead of this campaign. He won on his seasonal reappearance over 2m4f at Sandown in December but then had to settle for second over the same course and distance next time up. He looked like he would get swallowed up by at least two if not three of the field at one point but showed enough stamina to stick it out and stay on for second. The extra half a mile could bring out a bit of improvement and he’s an interesting runner off bottom-weight who looks like going off at double-figure odds.