Teaplanter looks at the 2 mile handicap at Kempton on Wednesday evening and has a strong fancy for the James Fanshawe trained Gale Force.
Ever since Gale Force made her debut at Doncaster last June, we have been eagerly awaiting the race when she stepped up to staying distances. As a daughter of Shirocco and a half sister to the high class middle distance mare Seal of Approval, she was always going to want at least 1.5 miles to be seen at her best. The manner in which she followed up her Doncaster maiden run over 10 furlongs, with encouraging staying on at one pace efforts over 12 furlongs at Kempton (twice) and then at Newcastle on her last start at 3 years of age, suggested that she would benefit greatly for a step up further in trip. She very much looked like a filly that "Bones" was educating before going handicapping with as a 4 year old.
She was tipped up on Betswot on her seasonal debut at Goodwood last month, despite reservations being expressed that the trip might be sharp for her and an aggressive ride would be needed. These concerns were realised as Tylicki gave her a patient ride and she was tapped for toe, before staying on well in the closing stages to be beaten 1.5 lengths by Echo Brava. The nature of the track would not have suited at the trip either, so this was a very encouraging effort in the circumstances, especially as her jockey never really got serious with her.
We expected her to be stepped up to 14 furlongs after this, as it looked a trip where improvement could be eeked out, but her trainer has wasted no time in asking her to tackle 2 miles. Everything about the way she runs suggests that she will be seen to much greater effect over this distance and if our reading of her is correct, we think she could be a mid 80s or low 90s horse at this trip.
With this in mind, the 1lb rise for that Goodwood effort looks very lenient and while some of the overnight 11/4 prices did not last long, the 9/4 is perfectly acceptable and she rates a strong bet in this contest.
2.5 points win Gale Force at 9/4 with Stan James, Betway and Skybet