Our racing expert marks your card for Wednesday's action.
Jim Crowley is hungry for winners in his battle with Silvestre De Sousa for the jockeys’ title and he has double prospects at Kempton this evening.
He gets the leg up on the Hugo Palmer-trained MENGLI KHAN in the 1m3f handicap at the Surrey venue and the giant three-year-old can start making up for lost time, having not been seen since finishing stone last in a handicap at the Newmarket Guineas meeting.
That was a disappointing effort, as was his previous last of four in the Fielden at the Craven meeting on his reappearance, but he’s not one to give up on just yet and an entry in a Heritage Handicap back at HQ next month suggests he’s been showing his trainer something at home of late.
A smart juvenile who comfortably beat subsequent Group 2 scorer Across The Stars in a Nottingham maiden last October before running below market expectations in the Racing Post Trophy (race may have come too soon), he is potentially nicely treated on a mark of 90 this evening against seven rivals.
The best of these may be Sir Mark Prescott’s Flymetothestars, though he has been off the track since winning in his debut in early February, and top weight Sam Missile, who has a 6lb penalty for his head success in a lower grade contest here last time.
A market check is in order before steaming into the selection given his layoff, but the Crowley booking is significant with the rider boasting a very tidy 30% (16-54) strike rate on the stable runners for a £1 level-stakes profit of £19.88.
UPDATE – the selection is easy to back this morning (out to 12/1 in places) and that suggests he’s in need of the run, so best keep stakes small.
The Amanda Perrett-trained ARTFUL ROGUE, Crowley’s mount in the 1m4f handicap, should appreciate the return to Polytrack following three modest efforts on turf this term, with his last visit to the track resulting in a three and a bit lengths success over this trip and under today’s rider.
That was back in September 2014 and he’s clearly had his problems having had just four runs since. But the handicapper has at least shown him some leniency, dropping him a further 3lb since a well beaten effort at Salisbury earlier this month, and he lines up this evening on a mark 6lb lower than when successful over track and trip.
His West Sussex-based stable is always to be feared in races here as evidenced by a highly respectable 37 winners from 232 runners (16%) since 2012. Many have come at big prices too and if you’d backed them all you’d be more than happy with a profit of £49.33 to £1 level-stakes.