The cold snap has taken its toll on fixtures this week and we have already lost the meeting at Fairyhouse on Saturday with inspections planned at five other venues this weekend.
Fingers crossed the meeting at Kempton Park goes ahead as planned because there is some cracking racing in prospect.
Here’s a tip for every race, which you can watch live on Racing TV.
SAGE ADVICE and Table Mountain are interesting here on their respective hurdling debuts, having shown useful form on the Flat. The former gets my vote as he’s got some jumping blood in his pedigree, plus he’s had a wind op and been snapped up by Dr Richard Newland.
Newbury runner-up Kentucky Hardboot should again make his presence felt, while those who like the angle of backing-and-laying will probably be interested in Bannister, an exuberant front-runner who takes no prisoners and should be suited by this track. He’s also entered in the Grade One Finale Hurdle at Chepstow later in the afternoon.
Emma Lavelle won this with Closing Ceremony in 2014 and has bright prospects with THE DOMINO EFFECT, who ran well when runner-up in handicap company over course and distance last time (watch above).
He can make the most of the weight he receives from Bobhopeornohope and Barbados Buck’s, who both have to shoulder double penalties. Hereford winner Undersupervision is something of an unknown quantity, while Welsh’s Castle, a runner-up at Uttoxeter last time, also commands respect.
Front-running novice EVANDER, also declared at Wincanton, jumped superbly when making all at Doncaster last time and could take some catching if getting a similar rhythm. He is up 9lb in a deeper race but, having had only eight races under Rules, is open to more improvement than most of these.
Erick Le Rouge, only 3lb higher than when scooping this prize last year, commands respect, while Pistol Whipped could be the type to catch when fresh. Espoir De Romay is a notable non-runner.
Most of these arrive here with questions to answer but ROCCO is an exception and should be hard to keep out of the frame. He ran well when chasing home Lock’s Corner here last time and is only 1lb higher.
Commodore heads the market after solid spins at Haydock and Cheltenham this term but remans much higher in the weights than when last winning, in the spring of 2019. A bigger threat coule be Two For Gold, who palpably did not give his running in the Ladbrokes Trophy.
Coo Star Sivola is well-treated on the pick of his form and attracted support when running in the Becher last time, only to eject his rider. Saint Xavier won at this meeting over hurdles last year and is worth a second look at big odds, but he’s offered little on his past two starts and needs to jump better.
The seven runners for a fascinating renewal are all rated between 151 and 156 but you would never know it to judge by the betting as McFabulous is hot favourite at around 6-4.
He’s the youngest in the line-up and was betrayed by a lack of stamina behind Thyme Hill and Paisley Park over 3m at Newbury last time. He probably is the one to beat, but is not for me at the prices.
Younevercall was a fine fourth in the Long Walk last time after a near-miss here. He’s the highest-rated in the line-up and, receiving weight from all the other geldings, I wouldn’t blame you for backing him.
Marginal preference , though, is for SUMMERVILLE BOY, who won last year’s renewal of this (when staged at it’s usual Cheltenham home) and is probably ideally served by this trip and testing ground. He has little to find with McFabulous on Newbury running and has since not been beaten far in the International Hurdle.
This looks booked for IMPERIAL AURA, a taking winner at the Cheltenham Festival last season who has continued to climb the ladder with wins at Carlisle and Ascot this term.
Kim Bailey said on Thursday that this is his stepping stone towards the Ryanair Chase back at The Festival in March.
Front-running Master Tommytucker capitulated quickly at Cheltenham last time but this looks more hs track and he is preferred to Riders On the Storm and Clondaw Castle for forecast purposes.
You can make a case for plenty in a highly competitive renewal but ONE TRUE KING seems sure to go well and rates the day's nap.
His form over 2m this term stacks reads well but the manner in which he has been finishing his races, coupled with his pedigree, point to this longer trip suiting him even better.
Castle Robin and Dhowin are also on my shortlist after making the frame at Ascot last time, as are Everglow, a novice, and Amour De Nuit, who went close at Newbury last time an whose rider takes off a handy 7lb.
I see no reason to desert the thriving BREFFNIBOY, who made it four wins on the spin with a game success at Cheltenham last time (watch above). He’s up another 6lb, meaning he's 19lb higher than when beginning his winning spree here two months ago, but this is a weaker race than at Cheltenham and he’s got a great attitude.
Fransham has easily won his past two starts at Wetherby but he reserves his best for that track and has gone up an aggregate of 15lb. He was well-held in this race last year when much lower in the ratings.
Manucci is interesting after his win on the Flat last time but his stable is a little quiet.
How To Bet £20 at Kempton on Saturday:
12.05 Sage Advice £1.50 win at 4-1 with bet365
12.35 The Domino Effect £1.50 win at a general 13-2
1.10 Evander £2 win at a general 9-2
1.45 Rocco £2.50 win at a general 7-1
2.20 Summerville Boy £2.50 win at a general 6-1
3.30 One True King £3 win at 7-1 with bet365
3.57 Breffniboy £3 win at a general 3-1
Above eight horses in 50p Win Doubles with 2.55 Imperial Aura (a general 5-6)
Placepot Perm (16 lines of £1 each)
plus a £2 each-way double on Rocco and 3.30 One True King
Leg 1: Sage Advice, Kentucky Hardboot
Leg 2: The Domino Effect, Bobhopeornohope
Leg 3: Evander, Espoir De Romay
Leg 4: Rocco
Leg 5: Summerville Boy, Younevercall
Leg 6: Imperial AuraCheck out the Racing TV large screen app on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Apple TV devices, so you can enjoy the action on your TV screen! Click here for more details.
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