The meeting at Hereford on Wednesday has already been called off, leaving us with slim pickings.
The sole afternoon fixture is at Leicester, with Kempton’s all-weather action following soon after. I’ve got selections at both meetings, starting with:
2.15 Leicester: Pistol Whipped
This one looked different class to his rivals over course and distance last time out and, though raised 6lb for that success, I believe that in a stronger race he might well have revealed more improvement and been hit even harder.
Nicky Henderson’s charge was returning after an absence and a wind op. If in similar heart, he should oblige again.
5.45 Kempton: Merchant Of Venice
It is David Simcock, not Shylock, who will probably provide the main danger to James Fanshawe’s talented five-year-old but I am hoping the application of cheekpieces and a 1lb pull will enable him to get his pound of flesh (groan!).
Rangali got the best of a ridiculously tight finish between four runners last time – with Merchant Of Venice coming off fourth best - but I like the booking of Ben Curtis and this horse has previously won twice over this mile at Kempton.
With such fine margins involved, I’m hoping the headgear might bring about a significant level of improvement.
8.15 Kempton: Black Prince
I would want to see this horse positive in the betting market before betting on him, and I also believe it is difficult to improve a horse from Anthony Honeyball.
However, I believe it is the right approach returning him to the all-weather as Black Prince has run his best races on the surface and the opposition is modest.
The six-year-old was not completely hopeless over hurdles but Honeyball’s yard is a bit of a jumps academy and this one wouldn’t cut it.
He gets the trip and has joined Martin Keighley, whose yard had a good winner at Cheltenham last weekend.
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