By Tony Calvin
With Hamilton abandoned and heavy, worsening ground at Leicester not enticing me to bet there, my options are somewhat limited today, so it is off to Kempton we go.
I was nearly tempted in by Dark Titan at a double-figure price in the 1m2f handicap at 2.55pm. The form of his Wolverhampton runs earlier in the season worked out pretty well and he looks to be fairly treated off only a 4lb higher mark than his second to Flood Warning at that track in March. And he is a half-brother to some decent horses, notably Spark Plug.
But he has not raced since March and that was enough to put me off.
There is a good 0-95 6f handicap at 4.35pm and Seeking Magic looks the right favourite at the 4-1 mark. He goes well here, won this race in 2015 and looks very solid. But at twice the price (he is a general 8-1 chance but 9-1 with Stan James at the time of writing) my money is siding with Sign Of The Kodiac.
The four-year-old has never raced at Kempton before and is rated 9lb higher on the all-weather, but there is little doubt that is justified.
He ran OK on turf at Chester last time but he is undoubtedly better on an all-weather surface, as his victories at Dundalk, Wolverhampton and Chelmsford underline. He has also run well in defeat at Lingfield.
He has been dropped 2lb since his last all-weather start and, from a decent draw in four, he may be handicapped to strike again. It’s a low-stakes punt but 8-1 looks a fair price.
Mudallel and Ventura Blues interested me most in the 1m handicap at 5.05pm but they have not been missed in the market – the former looks pretty short now at 5-2 – and Tailor’s Row is my other bet on the card at a general 8-1 in the 5.35pm.
He is not the most consistent or straightforward but he has come down a lot in the weights recently and as a consequence this is his first start in a 0-70.
The Mark Johnston-trained three-year-old has not really shone in three starts here but he is certainly handicapped to take a hand in the finish - being 5lb lower than when second to the progressive Hugin over this trip at Redcar in August – and hopefully he can get his own way out in front from stall five and outclass these.
Tony Calvin’s best bets for Monday:
4.35pm Kempton: Sign Of The Kodiac at a general 8-1
5.35pm Kempton: Tailor’s Row at a general 8-1