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Bourbali ran a cracker under top weight, he just couldn't keep away the lighter horse in the final furlong. His jumping is his best asset, and he will win races again. Moytier was going arguably the best in his race but fell before turning for home, he was trading 2/1 and slightly shorter in running, so that was painful. It was even more painful to watch Uptown Lady drift from 4/1 to 33/1 in a six-runner field, talk about bad vibes coming out of the stable for that drift to happen and sure enough she was lacking major fitness as her jumping was very good. Getaway With You missed the places by one to continue a woeful January.
Kempton 1:30 – Flegmatik 11/4 (1.5pt, PaddyPower)
Flegmatik is a horse who doesn't win too often, but he has been running well in defeat this season and based on the form of those races from a higher grade, he has a very strong chance of winning at Kempton off a lower mark.
Tristan Durrell takes the ride and takes off 3lbs from what is already a decent handicap mark of 137. That rating saw him finish 3rd last time out, and he was 4th time before off a pound higher. Those races are much tougher than today's race, so considering he is now 3lbs lower than last time out with the jockey's claim taken into consideration, he has a superb chance, especially at a track he has run well at previously and drying ground looks to suit him better.
Of the others in this race I'd be concerned if Gustavian got an easy lead, as this track suits front runners and he appears to be a horse who could be tough to peg back if not being hassled. However, for the others I think they find themselves on tough handicap marks, and even though I tipped up Chianti Classico on his chase debut, and he is a horse I like, I think he has a very tough task ahead of him off the weight he is running off, especially at Kempton as I think he will be better off a stiffer track which showcases his stamina rather than Kempton, which is more about speed.
Kempton 2:42 – Impose Toi 4/1 (1pt, WilliamHill)
It's not really my thing to go for a favourite in a big field handicap like this, but it's difficult to look past Impose Toi.
I still think there's a fair few pounds in hand with Impose Toi off a mark of 134 given the way he won at Cheltenham in a decent handicap, before finishing as runner-up behind Luccia when running on strongly, which made it look like a step up in trip could bring out further improvement.
He already has experience from a big field handicap from the 17-runner field he beat at Cheltenham, which would set him up perfectly for today's race.
Kempton 3:50 – Rare Edition EVS (1pt)
I was very tempted to tip up Rare Edition last time out at Doncaster on his seasonal reappearance but opted to leave it as chances are he might've needed the run. He eventually finished 3rd, and was running on strongly that day, and if Charlie Longsdon kept something up his sleeve with the fitness of Rare Edition, we should be cooking on gas with him today.
I think that the drying ground and return to Kempton is a good combination for Rare Edition, especially when I think he is on a very attractive mark. Though I believe the handicapper has him on a low mark, the top weight of 12st makes this more tricky than it should be, but I believe he has the class edge over this field and can carry that weight to success. He is a C&D winner when beating Rubaud at this venue last winter, and that horse has franked the form on a fair few occasions.
Harry Cobden is an eye-catching jockey booking.
Warwick 12:40 – Donnacha 15/8 (1pt, Bet365)
If your fitness isn't in peak condition then you'll have no chance of winning this race, as Totterdown likes to bowl ahead and set a good gallop, so you'll need a horse who stays well as well.
There are a few interesting runners in this race, with Sextant making a return from 2.5 years off the track, he had some decent form over hurdles the last time we saw him, but he's now a 9yo and the booking of the apprentice would suggest they need every advantage they can get with him. I tipped up Klitschko on her seasonal reappearance, and I was mightily disappointed with that run. The form is okay as the runner-up went on to win over fences, but the winner has been poor since.
Funnily enough, I've gone with Donnacha who has the same form line as Impose Toi who I believe wins the Lanzarote at Kempton. This horse isn't flashy, but you get what it says on the tin with Donnacha. He runs a creditable race every time, he stays the trip well, handles the conditions and is proven at a higher class, so I thought he looked the perfect bet for today's race. He is probably on a decent enough handicap mark, but I just think his solid nature and great recent form in good handicaps mean he should be landing a similar race.
Warwick 1:49 – Kyntara 11/4 (1pt, Bet365)
I've mentioned how Pertemps qualifiers are iffy to bet in as horses only need to be placed in the top 4 to qualify for the final at Cheltenham, so you see many just creeping into the top 4 and not being asked for maximum amounts of effort, as they'll be saving their handicap marks for the final at Cheltenham. However, Kyntara is a horse on a hat trick and the way he's been progressing this season it would be foolish to think they'll be wanting anything else but a win in this contest, especially off a mark of 124, which will more than likely have to be improved on if they want a spot at Cheltenham.
Extremely testing ground doesn't appear to be what this horse is all about as he did win in great style of good to soft at Lingfield, but we know he stays very well as he won off 12st at Aintree on heavy ground last time out, pulling away at the finish and I think he has a fair bit more to give before being in the grips of the handicapper. Obviously, this is a step up in grade to what he's been racing in, but you've got to be impressed by the way he has done his winning since moving to his new trainer Mel Rowley. Mel has been in good form recently, landing a couple of winners at Doncaster this week, and she has had a few horses placed in the last fortnight.
The horses towards the top of the weights have a lot to prove, and I think this race will be contested by the ones at the bottom of the weights. Mel Monroe is an interesting runner from Gordon Elliott, but I think her main aim is the final at Cheltenham and she will be quietly ridden like a couple of Gordon's who have been in this race over the years like Sire Du Berlais, who went on to win the Pertemps and last year his runner managed to be in the places without threatening to win.
Warwick 3:00 – Rapper 18/1 (1pt EW, WilliamHill 5pl)
Malina Girl is the obvious one for this race, and it's annoying that Gavin Cromwell keeps popping horses over the Irish Sea for these big pots as he seems to plunder them every time he goes for it. This mare stays well, has the form in the book to win a race of this nature, but she is high in the weights, granted the 5lb claimer reduces that, but it's another question of how well-handicapped is she. She is a hackable price of 4/1 and I couldn't put anyone off from backing her, but in a race of this nature, I thought Rapper was worth a shot now trying a marathon trip.
Given the way Rapper has finished over 3m 2f and 3m 3f you'd like to think he will stay this trip out nicely. I was surprised not to see him feature on New Years Day as he is normally primed for a race on that day, winning twice and being runner-up another time, but evidently, they've opted for today's race, and given how well he's done when they've targetted him at a race on 1st January, it gives me confidence that they fancy their chances in this race. His record when fresh is honking so the run at Kelso can be forgiven and he shaped much better at Cheltenham 28 days ago when finishing 4th, staying on in the final furlong, but I think that was a prep run for today's race. He has gone down 1lb for that run, but gets Alice Stevens on board today which reduces his weight by an extra 5lbs, putting him below his last winning mark which saw him produce an RPR of 147 and win by 8.5L at Cheltenham. This will take a career-best, but he shouldn't be the price he is and with the extra places on offer I believe he has a solid EW chance.
Kempton Park - 1:30 pm
11/4 @ PaddyPower
Kempton Park - 2:42 pm
4/1 @ William Hill
Kempton Park - 3:50 pm
EVS @ Bet365
Warwick - 12:40 pm
15/8 @ Bet365
Warwick - 1:49 pm
11/4 @ Bet365
Warwick - 3:00 pm