As much as I enjoy doing Kempton from the studio, I enjoy being able to get out and go for a busman’s holiday to my favourite Sunbury track, as I did on Monday evening.
Since the track renovation break in August, Kempton has been favouring front runners and horses who get first run from the pack and again on Monday night this was in evidence.
Moving towards today’s tips, as we now are in the final portion of the turf season, I do tend to stop having a bet on most turf racing in the UK due to the complete uncertainty of the ground and therefore Kempton is where two of my selections will be.
Another selection will be at the home of French jump racing, Auteuil, as the leading French chasers get a final prep for the big 48 hours of jumps racing in a Listed hurdle, while I am returning to my roots at Keeneland in Kentucky as they run the Grade Two Jessamine Stakes, the final Breeders’ Cup win and you’re in qualifying race of the year.
Also, don’t forget to join us on Saturday night as Mark Johnson and myself bring you the action from Woodbine where the Grade One Pattison Canadian International, featuring David Menuisier’s Thundering Blue and David Simcock’s Desert Encounter, takes centre stage on a great night of racing.
Winner of France’s second most important steeple chase last year – the Haye Jousselin at Auteuil on the first weekend in November – Bipolaire completes his preparation for the defense of his crown in this Listed Hurdle.
The Francois Nicolle-trained seven-year-old grey won an identical race to this by three lengths in mid-September and should be able to dominate this field.
He has been put in at even-money on the French morning line and, although this is short, it seems perfectly fair given many of his rivals are other chasers having a prep run ahead of the big November festival.
The feature race of the night at Kempton is this £20,000 Conditions sprint which sees Cenotaph looking for four straight all-weather victories in a row.
In his three runs for Jeremy Noseda, this son of War Front has been impressive at Chelmsford including when winning the £100,000 Chelmsford City Cup over seven furlongs last time out.
Now Cenotaph is returning to six furlongs, a distance he is more suited to and is trying a conditions race where he is better off in the weights with his rivals than he would be in an open handicap.
Trainer Jeremy Noseda seriously considers Cenotaph to be a Group One Golden Shaheen horse for next year and if that is the case this race should be well within his reach.
The last time War Glory came to Kempton he was a 20/1 winner of the London Mile Series Final, when be broke from stall 14 and made all of the running to collect his third career success.
Since then he ran third over seven furlongs at Chelmsford, making most of the running before just getting headed in the final half furlong, in an overall race time that broke the track record.
Returning to Kempton today and stepping back up to a mile will suit, as will the return of Tom Marquand who has ridden him to victory twice.
Stall one is perfect for him as a front runner and his run style will suit the way Kempton is playing.
Also, as an extra incentive, if he wins this race, the penalty he receives will bump him up into the field for the Balmoral Handicap on Champions Day at Ascot.
9:24 Keeneland (Race 7) – Fierce Scarlett at 7-2_
The Grade Two Jessamine Stakes is the final Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In race of the series and is for juvenile fillies on the turf.
This race was won last year by Rushing Fall who went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Juveniles Fillies Turf for trainer Chad Brown.
Brown himself has won this race twice in the past and fields only one runner in today’s renewal with Fierce Scarlett.
This daughter of Scat Daddy had a very troubled debut run over five and a half furlongs at Saratoga before stretching out to today’s trip at Belmont Park and easily pulling away by four and a half lengths.
Chad Brown, who is well on his way to collecting a third straight trainers’ championship, is in flying form having saddled four Grade One winners this past weekend and he has every confidence that Fierce Scarlett belongs at this level.
Her American morning line of 7-2 seems fair in a full 14-runner field.