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Horse racing tips for Monday: Harry Allwood's best bets at Kempton and Chelmsford

By Harry Allwood@H_Allwood1
Mon 25 Jan 2021

The snow and cold weather continues to take its toll in Britain and Ireland, with Thurles and Hereford abandoned on Sunday, and Market Rasen already called off on Monday.

Plumpton is also set for an inspection at 8am on Monday morning, but thankfully there are no issues anticipated for the two all-weather meetings, Kempton and Chelmsford, which will be shown live on Racing TV.

I have three selections across both meetings, including in the Unibet 3 Uniboosts A Day Conditions Stakes (6.15pm), the feature race at Kempton. Best of luck.

3.40 Chelmsford: Puffin Island each-way at 13-2 with William Hill (who are paying four places)

Watch how Puffin Island fared last time out

This three-year-old shaped with a hint of promise, despite looking in need of experience, in three starts as a two-year-old last year.

Following an absence of 85 days and making her handicap debut off a rating of 51, Henry Spiller’s charge caught the eye when staying on encouragingly under hands and heels to finish a never-nearer fifth in a 0-55 handicap at Kempton last time out.

She had plenty of ground to make up turning for home on that occasion, and the way she shaped certainly suggested this new trip will be advantageous.

Her breeding also backs that opinion up as she is by Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Awtaad, and is closely related to horses best suited over a mile to ten furlongs.

She has also been dropped a pound for her latest run, and Grace McEntee takes a useful 5lb off.

With natural progression, as well as the expectation that she will strip fitter for her comeback run, it will be disappointing if she is not able to make an impact in the same grade here.

6.15 Kempton: Mighty Gurkha at 2-1 with William Hill

This Group Three winner went agonisingly close carrying a 7lb penalty in a similar contest at Wolverhampton last time out and, despite having 5lb more to carry than his other five rivals here, he ought to make a bold bid to make all.

Zamaani, who reopposes on Monday, finished fourth in that contest, and had every chance to go past Mighty Gurkha, but hung left in the home straight, and I think a rating of 103 flatters him slightly.

Roger Varian’s charge was also fifth behind the selection, albeit off level weights, in the Sirenia Stakes over course and distance last year.

I expect Mighty Gurkha would have been on the easy list for a couple of weeks following his exertions at the Breeders’ Cup before running at Wolverhampton, and a win in this contest will secure a place on Finals Day of the All Weather Championships, which will presumably be the aim.

Bravado is unbeaten and progressive, but would have arguably been defeated had Rohaan, who he meets again here, timed his challenge earlier last time out.

Those two challengers now run off revised ratings and will need to take another step forward to trouble the front two in the market, especially on these terms.

Although Mighty Gurkha has the outside draw, there are only six runners, and he should not have too much trouble crossing over under Hollie Doyle.

A bigger worry would be if Bravado, who has made all in his past two starts, takes him on for the lead. However, Mighty Gurkha is sure to set decent fractions early on, and I expect him to take all the beating.

7.15 Kempton: Morlaix at a general 3-1

Morlaix was an eyecatcher on his return to action

Morlaix went into plenty of notebooks following his first start for 421 days at Chelmsford, and it is easy to see why as David Simcock’s charge stayed on in eye-catching fashion to finish third having attracted market support before the off.

He was also not given a hard time under pressure and the handicapper has lowered him 3lb following that defeat, which is lenient given the winner has scored twice since.

Morlaix steps up to seven furlongs here, and although he is by July Cup winner Mayson, his breeding suggests this stiffer test will suit.

It is also worth noting this four-year-old is Jamie Spencer’s only ride on the nine-race card, and his mount ought to be capable of better now handicapping.

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