Ground and trip look ideal
13:15 – Ecco
He is a nice type who has progressed really well this season. He won an all-weather bumper at this track just over a fortnight ago and the drying ground has come in his favour. Ecco also ran very well when second at Kempton on Boxing Day and the trip of two miles, five furlongs looks ideal.
Big run expected with now we have better ground
13:50 – Tamaroc de Mathan
He made quite an impression on his chasing debut at Wincanton where he jumped for fun and readily pulled clear in the closing stages. I thought he then really well when runner up to Shiskin at Kempton over Christmas. I’ve been waiting for better ground for Tamaroc du Mathan ever since and everything looks set for another big run from him.
Triumph Hurdle a possibility
14:25 -Paso Doble
He is a promising recruit from Ireland where he won twice on the flat for Jim Bolger as a three-year-old. I’ve given him a bit of time since he was gelded and he may well be one for the future. To find out for sure we are are going down the route we took with Zarkandar in this race some years ago. If Paso Doble happens to win at Kempton then he will head for the Triumph at Cheltenham. If he doesn’t then we will keep him for next season.
Deserves his step up in class with Aintree the likely target
15:00 – Atholl Street
He is another of mine that loves decent ground so I have saved him for this race since he hacked up at Taunton early in December. That was his second impressive win at the Somerset track and he fully deserves a step up in class. While he still holds an entry in the Supreme Hurdle at Cheltenham a good run at Kempton is more likely to book his ticket for Aintree.
Corton always goes well fresh and could run very well
15:35 – Black Corton & Southfield Stone
I’ve been waiting for this better ground for Black Corton who had been working nicely with Secret Investor, gutsy winner of the Denman Chase last Sunday. I’ve left him alone in the worst of the winter while the going was heavy everywhere and he is ready to go again. Although Black Corton doesn’t get any help from the handicapper it’s encouraging that he ran tidily in this race last year and always goes well fresh. He is ready and could go very well.
Southfield Stone won an all-weather bumper at Kempton the other day, has also won over hurdles at the track and all his best performances have come on good ground. As he has never run over more than two and a half miles he is now stepping into the unknown over three miles for the first time. But I’ve always felt he would stay this far, particularly round this flat track on good ground. So there are plenty of plus points.
A more suitable race for him
16:10- My Way
He ran a solid race at Chepstow last time on deep ground that doesn’t play to his strengths and will be much happier with conditions at Kempton. Back in November he led over the last fence in the Badger Ales Chase at Wincanton but didn’t quite last home over the trip. This race is much more suitable, he’s a sound jumper and we will ride him positively in first time blinkers.
Both will benefit from the run
16:45 – Prince Nino & Tamgho Borget
Prince Nino is a big, strong, backward four-year-old, a bit of a baby at this early stage of his career and will benefit plenty from this debut run.
Tamgho Borget has joined us this winter after keeping on stoutly to win his only point-to-point in Ireland in October for Colin Bowe who has a great record of bringing on young horses. While he shapes at home like he already wants a trip I don’t want to go hurdling with him so late in the season, so we’ll see how he gets on in this bumper before making any plans. He has done plenty of work but is probably one for the future.