An intriguing four runner affair and all the runners have good chances. Hills Of Dubai and Just Georgie are closely matched on their running seventeen days ago at Haydock and both will benefit from a step up to three miles. Hills Of Dubai looks to have more scope for improvement than Just Georgie and may well be allowed his own way up front which would make him a dangerous proposition @ 5/2. Likewise Teddy Tee can improve again and will not want for stamina but having looked one paced over three miles, three furlongs last time at Ayr, a drop back in trip may not be what he wants. Acdc, with the seven pound claim of Liam Quinlan, makes him well treated here and Chris Grant’s eight year old could be the value @ 9/2.
A Momentofmadness heads the market @ 3/1 and having being well backed at Lingfield two weeks ago when throwing the race away at the start, will no doubt be a warm order in a race he won twelve months ago. There are doubts seeping into his profile in that he has had numerous chances to win a race throughout last summer but failed to deliver and the value may well lie elsewhere. Tomily has been better than ever recently, is effective at a strongly run five furlongs and will be finishing strongly @ 11/2 but this is his third race in two weeks and that, aligned with his weight, makes life difficult with another career best needed to take this. Robert Cowell has three entries though Green Door, who is well treated on his flat form, is probably best watched. Jumira Bridge and Evergate are both worthy of consideration. Jumira Bridge, a half-brother to the useful Spangled, produced a career best on his penultimate start for Roger Varian following a gelding operation before not getting the best of runs at Leicester. He can improve again, goes well fresh and has to be a contender @ 13/2. Evergate was just starting to progress nicely last backend and can also improve this year but stall eight may just prove too much of a stumbling block. Tarboosh is an intriguing runner for Paul Midgley and his trainer seemed to unlock his potential last Autumn culminating in a good run at Haydock when third to Boundsy. He goes well fresh and it would be no surprise to see him run well @ 11/1.
Taxmeifyoucan’s defeat of European Breeders Fund Novice’s Handicap Final winner Sam’s Gunner and Mcgowan’s Pass in February reads very well and a repeat of that form or better makes him the one to beat @ 10/3. Nietzsche has been highly tried by Brian Ellison and has some good form to his name, notably third in the 2017 Fred Winter and sixth in this season’s Greatwood Hurdle. This is a much easier assignment and he should be thereabouts @ 7/1, presuming he handles the heavy ground. Reverant Crust and Monfass have been consistent of late and with a little improvement can be competitive @ 9/1 and 12/1 respectively while Golden Jeffrey is well treated @ 20/1 if the blinkers can bring back a return to his early season form.
The veteran and former Group One placed Tropics has had a new lease of life of late and though he won under an enterprising ride by Robert Winston last time, he has to be respected again here. Things may not go his own way with Swift Approval on the premises and to produce another big performance at the age of ten is a big ask especially not at one of his favoured courses of Wolverhampton or Chelmsford. Boundsy finished the 2017 turf season well with good performances at Doncaster and Haydock proving he belongs in this class and he has to be on the shortlist @ 5/1 with only Richard Fahey’s poor record at Kempton tempering enthusiasm. Raven’s Lady should also be given a second look @ 6/1 , her latest runs can be forgiven having come over seven furlongs with her best form at six and if she can overcome her wide draw, is a contender for Marco Botti and Andrea Atzeni. Piper’s Note is an interesting runner for Ruth Carr who has her team in good health, he goes well fresh, handles Kempton and could go well @ 16/1 on only his fourth all-weather start. Another who goes well after a break is Raucous, now with the Robert Cowell sprinting ranks and could be a player @ 10/1 if putting his best hoof forward.
Yala Enki bounced back to form in the Grand National Trial at Haydock before a good sixth in the Ultima Handicap at Cheltenham and bids to win this race for the second year running. Venetia Williams’ eight year old should make a bold bid @ 5/1. Baywing’s victory in the Eider Chase was impressive and he looks like a severe stamina test is to his liking so whether this return to shorter is what he needs remains to be seen while Wild West Wind has failed to deliver since a promising win at Chepstow in December and he has a bit to prove now. Chic Name’s season only started in February and he has produced two good efforts, one in Novice company behind Elegant Escape before a valiant fifth in the cross-country at Cheltenham. If that effort has left no ill effects, he suffered with heat stress post race, he has to be considered @ 13/2 though there is still a slight doubt about heavy ground. Seldom Inn, second in this race last year, is now six pounds lower, looks to have been brought to the boil for this race by Sandy Thomson and has to be respected @ 11/1 and Lake View Lad has some good form this season and is not without a chance @ 8/1.
On the figures Smart Call should be too good for this field but she has failed to win on every start since joining Sir Michael Stoute. Admittedly all runs have been in much tougher company but she could well be worth taking on over a trip that is on the sharp side and having ran well in the Middleton at York last year, that could well be the early season target. La Figlia represents the potential @ 7/2 after a solid fourth to Muffri’Ha at Newmarket on only her second start. She kept on that day so whether further than a mile is needed is open to debate but she should be finishing well. Following Finals Day at Lingfield French raiders on the all-weather could become more common place and Hunaina @ 5/1, lines up here. Her win at Chantilly reads very well at face value but Trais Fluors disappointed in Meydan and Robin Of Navan was having his seasonal debut over a trip on the short side so the form is questionable, that said she is a very interesting runner. Roger Varian’s Shenanigans has course form and was on an upward curve at the end of last season and could well be the value @ 13/2. Soul Silver will enjoy the return to a mile and is no forlorn hope @ 20/1 while the lightly raced Paco’s Angel could be competitive @ 14/1 if fit and returning to her best.
Eminent Poet was third in this race last year and has claims again @ 8/1 following a good victory at Wetherby last time. Donna’s Diamond will enjoy the return to a sharp track on heavy ground and should go well @ 4/1 after finding the Cheltenham a little too hot while Kris Spin will enjoy conditions and has to come into calculations in a field full of exposed types. That fact could open the door for Lastbutnotleast @ 13/2 who’s chasing career has been put on hold but she was progressive over hurdles and a return to that form would see her competitive here.
Quickened Clear’s Best Bets:
Piper’s Note – 2.40 Kempton – 1t win @ 16/1
This is a race in that you can pick holes in most of the fancied runners. Tropics prefers Chelmsford and Wolves and somewhat stole the race last time and won’t be able to here with Swift Approval in the field. Boundsy is respected but Richard Fahey has a terrible record at Kempton and he will have bigger handicaps this spring on the agenda, Raucous is not the most straightforward and Mazzini struggles at this level though the one fear would be Raven’s Lady getting over form her wide draw. Piper’s Note goes well fresh and Ruth Carr proved she can get one ready first time when Chaplin won at Newcastle on Good Friday and with form in top handicaps, Piper’s Note could nick this @ 16/1.
Lastbutnotleast – 3.35 Kelso – 1pt win @ 13/2
This race has only been on the calendar for the last four years but the winners have been progressive hurdlers who will make chasers or progressive hurdlers who have gone chasing briefly before reverting back to hurdles. Lastbutnotleast fits the bill perfectly and though her chasing career did not go to plan, her hurdles form was improving with every run last season including a good defeat of the smart Happy Diva at Doncaster a year ago. Trip and ground will hold no fears and Lastbutnotleast is a good bet @ 13/2 against plenty exposed types.