Some magnificent performances on Super Saturday with Lostintranslation now 3/1 with BetVictor for the King George after his superb win in the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park and 4/1 for the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March.
Laurina is 5/1 favourite at BetVictor for the Arkle after her visually impressive chase debut although the betting suggested that there will be other days for runner up Minella Indo. She is 7/1 for the JLT at BetVictor and I feel she may need two-and-a-half miles over fences. Samcro v Laurina at Cheltenham is something to look forward to over the winter months.
The ground was given as good – good to soft in places – on Sunday morning for today’s Kempton card with further showers forecast. Thomas Darby is likely to be all the rage for the Beginners Chase having finished runner up to the mare Maire Benrigh at Warwick on debut over the minimum trip. Today’s additional quarter-mile should suit but if there is plenty of cut in the ground I wonder if he might be vulnerable.
Master Tommytucker (1.30) has not run for over 400-days but he gets the vote for the Paul Nicholls yard who had such a great day on Saturday. The selection was keen on his chase debut when coming down four out at Chepstow when still going well enough and it is no surprise to see the Ditcheat handler fit a hood to his lightly-raced eight-year-old who won both his hurdle starts. Soft ground would hold no terrors for the selection.
In the listed mares hurdle Annie Mc reverts to 3m having won the valuable mares’ handicap hurdle at Newbury when last seen back in the spring. Papagana won a listed contest at Doncaster on her last start on her first start at 3m but the more rain the better for Culture De Sivola (2.05) who finished third in this corresponding race last season and receives weight from the other principles.
On the Slopes is 5lbs better off with Doctor Dex (2.35) for the two-and-a-half lengths he was behind Tom George’s horse at Ascot last time but that was the selection’s chase debut and he is a horse I will follow until he is beaten. Jonathan Burke keeps the ride and he and Robbie Power have been the two jockeys who have impressed me most so far this jumps season.
In the last Storm Rising (3.40) has been raised 3lbs for falling at the last at Cheltenham last time but remains well treated on his best form for Dr Richard Newland and Charlie Hammond. He gets the narrow vote from David Pipe’s Story Of Friends who was no match for Thebannerkingrebel at Newton Abbot last time, but that form has been give a huge boost subsequently, and he looks fairly treated for his handicap debut. Note he has had a wind operation since his last start and the booking of Jonjo O’Neill suggests a big run is expected in this conditional jockey’s event.
At Ludlow Top Decision was first past the post on his chase debut but had decanted Tom Scudamore at the seventh and the hope is that Adrian Heskin can get a decent tune out of the six-year-old who was a winning hurdler and steps up to three miles for the first time. The each way vote, however, goes to Mr Palmtree (1.05) who ran his best race yet over fences when runner up at Hereford last time and a 4lbs rise looks fair.
North Star Oscar (2.45) was a facile winner at Huntingdon on Saturday and escapes a penalty for that conditional jockey’s event. Harry Teal keeps the ride and, if in the same mood, he will be very tough to beat for Warren Greatrex.
Western Ryder has yet to impress over the larger obstacles although I wonder if Daryl Jacob will get a better tune out of the 7-year-old. The vote goes to the chasing newcomer Hold The Note (3.20) who is fitted with cheek-pieces for his chase debut for Mick Channon.