With fourteen runners in all bar one race, where there’s just the eleven heading to post in the Class 3 feature at 7.45pm, winners at Kempton Park on Friday evening will be tough to come by, but we’ll give it our best shot. The going at Kempton has been “standard to slow” for what seems a lifetime now, but there’s plenty of rain in the London area tonight and tomorrow which is sure to liven things up a touch.
All-Weather action at the Sunbury venue kicks off at 5.15pm with a 7f Handicap, where the John Jenkins trained ZAHIRAH must have every chance of following up her win over the course and distance last month, with just a 4lb rise to the contend with. This is a stiffer task though and I’d also be interested in an each way play on N OVER J, who was well below par over a mile at Lingfield last time out, but should benefit for this return to 7f around Kempton.
Kempton – 5.15pm
In Division I of the 2yo Novice Stakes at 5.45pm, James Fanshawe’s Carnival Rose sets the standard after running to a Racing Post Rating of 72 on debut over the course and distance. She went off at 25/1 there and shaped encouragingly enough. But I’ll take a chance on Amy Murphy’s recently gelded runner JUST LATER, a speedily bred son of Equiano who was marginally worse than Carnival Rose on bare form ratings the last day at Chelmsford, but better on speed figures and if he can improve for his third run and indeed getting the snip, he should go very well indeed. Division II of the same race at 6.15pm can go the way of Charlie Hills’ newcomer RISAALA. Hills found the net here with useful 2yo debutant Clematis the other day and this Mukhadram filly looks a likely type on paper, in a race lacking much quality in terms of those arriving with a run under their belt. At a likely big price, George Baker’s Renegade Master could improve for his Lingfield debut.
Kempton – 6.45pm
The 6.45pm is a ridiculously tricky Nursery Handicap, where there’s little by way of recent placed form let alone winning form amongst the 14 runners, so I’m happy to let them sort themselves out and move onto the 7.15pm contest in search of a likely winner, which is a Class 5 Maiden Stakes race over a mile. Despite the time of year, John Gosden continues to have his horses in fine fettle and PANMOLLE looks poised to win at the third attempt, after following home the classy Cantiniere at Wolverhampton last time out. Kempton should play to the strengths of this Lawman filly, who could well be an above average prospect. I’ll be interested to see how the James Tate newcomer ASTONISHED runs here too, as a filly by Sea The Stars running for a respected stable.
There is £15,000 on offer in the Class 3, 7.45pm race over six furlongs which is a feature race of the night. Richard Guest’s EXCHEQUER stands out here for me, having posted a very fast time to score easily over 7f at Kempton in early November. He has gone up 5lb for that effort and is back to 6f here, but the son of Exceed And Excel is not devoid of speed and looks well positioned to strike again under Franny Norton.
Kempton – 8.15pm
Mark Usher’s POINT IN TIME is the clear form choice in Kempton’s 8.15pm contest over 1m3f, having won well here over a furlong further last time out. A 3lb rise in the weights is more than fair and the marginal drop in trip shouldn’t be a problem. I’d love to see a better run from Tralee Hills here, who disappointed last time but is better than that. In the last at 8.45pm, I keen on the chances of the Jamie Osborne trained YOUR BAND, who improved significantly after a 58 day break when tackling a handicap for the first time at Lingfield last month over their 1m4f track. The son of Helmet showed a willing attitude to get the better of Taurean Dancer there and if he takes to going right-handed without a hiccup, the progressive 3yo – ridden by Nicola Currie – can get the better of the penalised and also in form Zarrar and hopefully end the evening with a winner.
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