Smallish stakes and biggish odds might be the order of the day on an intriguing afternoon’s racing at Warwick and Kempton.
First up, in the Classic Chase at Warwick, is the unheralded Topper Thornton. Now he’s far from a top-notcher, but he is a very genuine, pretty consistent stayer from an undervalued stable. His two runs for the yard suggest he has improved a bit for the change of regime and he wasn’t far off Cresswell Breeze at Sandown. He’s more than twice the price, and promises to appreciate a really searching test of stamina.
In the Pertemps Qualifier, I like the look of Sykes. He bounced right back in a competitive race at Cheltenham, and this could be his ‘Final’ in a race where plenty of others will be looking to peak at the Festival. Ground and trip should pose no problems at all.
Rather more predictably, I’m keen on Count Meribel in the Leamington Novices Hurdle. I loved the way he stuck to his task at Ascot and, although Mr Whipped is evidently very useful, the selection will not surrender lightly and continues to thrive and improve.
At Kempton, the Lanzarote is full of possibles at tasty prices, but – more fool me – I can’t resist another nibble at Dino Velvet at 25/1 or bigger. He travelled so sweetly in a hot handicap at Newbury last time that I’m convinced he’s really well treated. Either he doesn’t stay (in which case I’ll do my money again) or he has a really good cruising speed but lacks a change of gear. If it’s the latter (and otherwise the trainer might have reverted to two miles), I reckon I’m onto something.
Good luck and enjoy the afternoon…
2.40 Kempton – Dino Velvet (each way)
2.25 Warwick – Sykes
3.00 Warwick – Count Meribel
3.35 Warwick – Topper Thornton (each way)
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.