Sunday’s BetBright-sponsored card at Kempton is dominated by maiden races, and the habit the track has of throwing up above-average winners in such races (Western Hymn the latest classic aspirant to have kicked off on the Sunbury polytrack), means that they need to watched intently, and more than once if possible. On the other hand, they aren’t easy to analyse with limited form on offer, and are passed over until market clues can be digested.
Those looking for a banker on the card will be drawn to the claims of Merry Me in a moderate Classified contest at 14:45. Andrew Balding continues in form, and this improving sort looks to have been underestimated by the assessor on a mark of 70, allowing her to sneak into this contest on the ceiling rating.
The Invincible Spirit filly has what appears a speedy pedigree at first glance, but she was found wanting for pace at up to 1m last year, and will appreciate the extra yardage on her return. A repeat of her second at Lingfield in December will probably suffice, but there should still be more to come from her as she stretches out. It’s possible that the money will come for Good Value, who caught the eye under a very tender ride at Windsor, but he’s still not achieved a great deal on balance, and backing such types has long proved a route to the poorhouse.
Indian Affair has been expensive to follow of late, but his latest polytrack effort was a narrow defeat by Greenhead High, who has been placed twice on turf in recent weeks. Oisin Murphy takes over from an inexperienced claimer, and that switch should be enough to see him home in front over a C&D which suits him well. If there is a danger, it may well be Valdaw, who has been out of sorts for a while, but returns from a break, and would look well treated if revived by that respite.
Both Murphy and Balding may be looking for doubles by the time of the 16:45, where Telegraph makes most appeal. Disappointing on the face of it at Bath recently, it may prove the case that he faced a stiff task against Fear Or Favour, and a low draw was also against him that day. That blowout will at least ensure his fitness, and that should prove a winning advantage of several who return from absence, including Glebe Spirit and Despot, That pair come from powerful yards, but are likely to be overbet as a result, and will help make the market for the selection.
Lack of a recent run is a slight concern for Presto Volante in the 2m handicap at 17:15, but this is Amanda Perrett’s time of year, and she went close with Arch Villain at Lingfield on Good Friday. Presto Volante was a good second to Dark Ranger over C&D last summer, and is weighted to gain revenge. That was just his second polytrack outing, and he again made the frame here in August. A strong pace will help his stamina to come into play, and he makes more appeal than the frustrating Ranjaan, who looks likely to start favourite with Ryan Moore booked.
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