Kempton stages its regular Wednesday evening meeting under the floodlights and our resident tipster fancies a couple of big-priced runners to shine.
We have six meetings to bet on today, four flat and two over jumps, and the sporting nap ROYAL CAPER is running on the all-weather at Kempton.
He runs in the 7f handicap on the seven-race twilight card and it’s quite possibly the most competitive race of the entire day. That’s fine by me as we get to back him each-way at 25/1 (forecast), which is surely too big given his profile. Formerly trained by John Ryan, who won three races with him, including one over course and distance, he has joined Newmarket-based Joey Ellis for this campaign and she has made a bright start to her training career, with three of her 19 runners obliging.
The five-year-old would appear to be up against it taking on race-fit rivals, but he has gone well fresh before, winning first-time-out last season, and he’s just 4lb higher than when winning at Brighton last July under today’s pilot Steve Donohoe. That took his record to 3-7 when racing over this trip in Class 6 company, like today’s, and his cause is aided further by a favourable draw in stall two. Don’t let his big price put you off!
A more speculative wager is going on PEARL ICE in the proceeding 1m handicap (8.10pm) in the hope he can show some of his old form and take advantage of a slipping handicap mark. He needs to step up markedly on what he’s shown in two starts this term, but they were competitive handicaps at Newbury last time and here in April, and he will find this assignment a lot easier.
His trainer Charlie Fellowes, writing in his weekly RFO column, believes he might be a Group horse masquerading as a handicapper and it’s only a matter of time before he “unleashes” his talent. That may or may not be this evening, but I don’t want to miss out at the 9/1 on offer and it’s worth noting he did win on the surface as a juvenile. A new jockey in Frederik Tylicki could also spur him on to put his best for forward. Small stakes, mind.
One of the more competitive contests over jumps is the 2m handicap hurdle at Warwick (4.40pm) and it looks a decent opportunity for the Neil King-trained REGULATION to follow up his Market Rasen success of 12 days ago. The six-year-old won with consummate ease at the Lincolnshire venue and, while he’s been raised 15lb as a result, he could still be well treated on 122 given he was 100-rated on the flat. His trainer resisted the urge to run him under a penalty, suggesting he too thinks he’s on the right side of the handicapper, and he’s aiming him at the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot. That might be ambitious, but he should be up to winning this Class 3 handicap.