CeeBee previews Saturday's racing at Kempton which includes the Betbright Chase and he has bets on Thomas Brown and Champagne West.
It’s nearly Cheltenham Festival time,but there’s still some decent action on offer this weekend. A quick summary of the big National Hunt races and a few selections to try boost the Cheltenham betting bank.
The Adonis opens the Kempton card. This could potentially have a big bearing on the Triumph Hurdle market. I really like Gibralfaro; he’s 2 from 2 for Alan King with both a CD victory to his name (where he made up huge late ground) and a defeat of Connetable – who’s franked the form since. Giving weight to other winners and smart debutants from respected yards means he’s not a bet though. Wolfcatcher is worth watching with a view to Kasakh Noir running in the Fred Winter. His mark of 133 is lenient looking.
The Pendil is fairly miserable for a £32K novice chase. And the Dovecote is not a whole lot better.
15.35 BetBright Chase
There’s plenty in this who look easy to rule out. Rocky Creek will need the first time blinkers to bring about plenty of improvement having looked poor the last few times. Hadrian’s Approach is set a tough task after a year off. The same applies to Ruben Cotter. Astracad has no chance at the trip. Le Reve would be better suited to Sandown. He’s struggled when raised to this mark previously. Fox Appeal comes from a yard bang out of form. Virak and Tenor Nivernais have both been consistent this season, but are somewhat handicapped to the hilt as a result.
Ziga Boy jumped like a stag and travelled strongly at Doncaster last time. The race went perfectly for him. A repeat in better company may be asking a lot of him. Theatre Guide is solid. He races off the same mark as when 2nd to the then well handicapped Smad Place in the Hennessy. However he is up against two well handicapped unexposed sorts here and I’d be amazed if he isn’t just staying on into a place behind one or both of them. If the 16 runners line up he’s not a bad e/w bet or sort for an e/w multiple. But one non-runner (16 down to 15) and the place value (4 places to 3) is gone.
Champagne West and Thomas Brown are the duo jumping off the page. Both appear well handicapped, but with question marks over their jumping. Champagne West was pulled up after making a bad mistake at Cheltenham when last seen. That day he was 7/4 favourite in a decent handicap chase – that tells you plenty. He was only halted from being a graded chaser by injury during his novice chase season. Back on track now he’ll make up for lost time. Prior to his last effort he was 2nd to Village Vic in the December Gold Cup. That was after almost a year off, so there should be plenty more to come. The form of that run has worked out very well with Village Vic, Tenor Nivernais, Annacotty and Buywise all running well since. The step up to 3miles shouldn’t be an issue. However given his jumping issues he’s a win only type of bet.
Thomas Brown is similar. After 3 chase starts he has earned a rating of 140. Considering he won 2 of the 3 and chased home the 147 rated Le Mercurey (with 139 rated Out Sam 6L behind) in between; the mark of 140 is very lenient. Thomas Brown was a decent novice hurdler last season and got a mark of 142 after winning 2 of his 5 starts. I’d be amazed if he couldn’t get to at least 152 over fences. His chase debut was a superb round of jumping and he showed loads of pace. It prompted me to (foolishly) back him for the JLT immediately afterwards. Not as good the last twice, but he didn’t do a whole lot wrong.
The 3m trip won’t be an issue. His jumping and lack of experience may be. He was quite ponderous at the odd fence last time. He’ll need to be slicker in this company. Given the worries he’s also a win only type.
1.5 points win Thomas Brown 7/1 – Stan James, Betfred, Totesport
1.5 points win Champagne West at 13/2 with Skybet
At Chepstow the Pertemps Qualifier 3m handicap hurdle will be worth watching. Kings Palace is an obvious intriguing sort, but Audacious Plan is another who should be winning back over fences soon. Awaywiththegreys and Hansupfordetriot both have strong C&D form.
Interesting to see David Mullins has the Rebecca Curtis weekend role when others are unavailable. Charles Byrnes also sends over one, Not For You, in the 16.55 and the horse holds entries in the UK next week also.
Navan is rather unappealing but Leopardstown on Sunday is quite the opposite so we’ll survive until then.