Ceebee previews Saturday's racing and looks at 3 races between the Warwick and Kempton cards with advised bets on Hawkes Point, Heath Hunter and Sego Success.
15.35 Warwick 3m5f Classic Chase
I’ve already tipped Shotgun Paddy each way at 8/1 and to be honest the principal behind that bet didn’t really work out unless there’s a non-runner which will cut the on the day place terms to 3 places. I was surprised 16 were declared but I’m still happy he has a right good chance. I’m eager to add a saver though.
Hawkes Point winning the Welsh National was going to pay for my Christmas. He didn’t but luckily I believe in forgiveness and he gets another shot at it today. He was fairly woeful in Chepstow, he just never really travelled and was being rousted along quite early. It wasn’t his true running. I suspect that slightly missing the break and being trapped behind a lot of horses didn’t suit him. Expect a more prominent position from the off today. First time blinkers are applied here which should help him to travel with a little more zest. I fancied him for the Welsh National as I believed he was well handicapped off a mark only 2lbs higher than when a close 2nd the previous Christmas. Amazingly he was dropped 6lbs for that poor effort last time. That’s a substantial drop in one go for a horse who previously didn’t look that woefully handicapped. Prior to the Welsh National he finished 3rd beaten 14L at Chepstow, over a trip short of his best and on ground quicker than ideal it was a very good prep run. At Warwick the ground, extra trip and his fitness will all be better for his chances yet he is 3lbs lower than that mark. He’s 4lbs lower than last season’s Welsh National 2nd and that’s decent form that was help up by Vintage Star, Merry King and Tidal Bay. All in all he is well handicapped on his best and has conditions to suit. Hopefully the blinkers can bring him back to his best. For a 10yr old he’s extremely lightly raced and I’d be shocked if he has reached the peak of his abilities yet.
13.35 Warwick 3m Novice Chase
Deputy Dan has once before tried 3miles, the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham last March, and to me it was an effort that screamed non stayer. Here he encounters an extra 1/2f and much more testing ground. Carrying a 4lb penalty compared to his rivals he must be taken on. There is very little between the rest of these.
Mickie’s best efforts have come over 3miles on heavy ground so conditions will suit her but of late she has always seemed to find 1 or 2 too good for her, perhaps she lacks a little class.
Tara Road is the lowest rated of these and he’ll need to improve massively from his Newbury run. The trip is also an unknown so others are preferred.
Mosspark has disappointed the last twice over fences and has cheekpieces applied here, they’ll need to bring about some improvement or he’ll struggle again.
Grand Vision will like the conditions having previously ran well on heavy over 3m but he’s like Mosspark in that he has disappointed on his two novice chase outings. His jumping will need to improve. It’s a Steal has climbed 24lbs for 2 handicap successes. Unproven on both this testing ground and beyond 2m5f others appeal more.
That leaves us with our selection Sego Success. He achieved the least of these over hurdles with a sole novice hurdle win at Southwell but his last run, a beginners chase win at Wetherby, was a good effort. SS and If in Doubt finished strongly, both pulled well clear of the rest and the 2nd has won since. That was over 3m1f on soft so conditions here will suit. He was brought down and fell last season and neither time was he beaten so his 2 rules win from 6 starts is a little misleading.
On official ratings he is second to Deputy Dan and so far has looked a more natural and polished jumper than most of these.
The highlight of Kempton’s card this is a tough handicap. Preference is for Heath Hunter. Like another fancy of mine today, Hawkes Point, I’m hoping first time blinkers can help Heath Hunter. Last time his jumping lacked some fluency so there’s room for improvement in that department. He ran better than his finishing position suggested as he was pretty much knocked over after jumping the last and allowed come home in his own time.
Today Kieron Edgar replaces Tom Scudamore and for me this is a positive move. Firstly Kieron takes 5lbs off and secondly I’m not convinced Scu has given him great rides the last 3 times. On all 3 occasions he led at 2out only to get swallowed up close home. He needs to be delivered into the race later. The big competitive field will help.
For an 8yo he is lightly raced and unexposed in handicap hurdles. With more fluent jumping and a slightly less aggressive ride he should get involved here. David Pipe has had 3 winners in the last 3 days which bodes well for the selection.