Our racing expert marks your card for Friday's jumps action at Kempton.
David Dennis’ BROKEN QUEST finally came good on his handicap debut at Huntingdon 14 days ago, when asserting from the last work with the rest of the field well strung out, and the six-year-old is taken to shrug off a 7lb rise when he runs in the 2m5f handicap hurdle. The application of a first-time tongue-tie cited was cited by his trainer as the reason for the improvement in form compared to previous efforts and the prominent ride he was given by Sam Twiston-Davies, who is back on board, may also have been a contributing factor. The winner of an Irish point, he should have no problem with today’s longer trip over what is a similarly flat track and further improvement is probable now the penny has dropped with him.
Brandon Hill has been put in as favourite for the 3m handicap chase having run creditably in a higher grade here over Christmas off the same mark as today’s. However, he could only finish fourth of the six finishers in last year’s renewal of this race and with the ground unlikely to be as soft as he likes – it’s forecast to be good to soft, the same as 12 months ago – he makes little appeal at the forecast odds.
Instead, I’m going to suggest an interest in BIGBADJOHN who is making his debut for Nigel Twiston-Davies, having been switched from Rebecca Curtis. A change of scenery could do the nine-year-old the world of good as he had lost his way a bit after winning the Grade 2 Reynoldstown Chase in February 2017, albeit he has been running in some big handicaps since, including the Ladbrokes Trophy won by Total Recall two starts back. He was running off a mark of 144 on that occasion and having finally been shown some mercy by the handicapper, who has dropped him to 133, he looks handicapped to win again. Hopefully, he can be the second leg of a double for Sam Twiston-Davies.
All odds were correct at time of posting.