Kempton Race Preview, 09/01/2021

Kempton, Saturday January 9th

Precautionary Inspection 08:00

Kempton 1:45
Ladbrokes Committed To Safer Gambling Handicap Chase Class 2 0-150
3m – Going: Good to Soft (Soft in places) – 15 runners

Slate House
Gone seriously off the map since winning the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase last season and did nothing in Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham in November on only run this season, dropped towards rear when niggled along before 8th, niggled again and headway into midfield, then pushed along after 10th, lost place and rear 12th, in last pair and struggling under a ride 13th, weakened further and tailed off at the top of the hill, pulled up before 3 out. With no wins to his name in the second half of the season during his career to date, a confident elimination. Preferred engagement at Wincanton
Minellacelebration
In this race last season was tailed off behind Fingerontheswitch. Quick reappearance after unseating 2nd in the Veterans’ Final at Sandown last Saturday; went up heaps in the weights for winning Summer Cup at Uttoxeter in July – leaving it late and getting up thanks to runner-up Bandsman’s mistakes at the last two fences – and a qualifier in the Veterans’ series at Aintree in October, niggled along home turn, led on the bit 3 out, 4 lengths clear 2 out, pushed along and stayed on well to go further clear between last 2, reminders approaching last, some 15 to 20 lengths up last ridden out till eased last 100 yards, beat Pobbles Bay 14 lengths. Usually given a break between Autumn and Spring, this race last year was actually the first time he’d ever raced during January – it didn’t work then and it’s not expected to come off now
Glen Forsa
Running as though something is amiss this season, weakened and tailed off when falling 2 out behind Greaneteen in Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter first up, and last time in rescheduled Peterborough Chase at Cheltenham led, 2 lengths clear when steadied into 3rd, ridden into 9th, 10th and 12th, nodded on landing 13th, nudged along and carried head to one side at the top of the hill, ridden and headed 3 out, hard driven home turn, looked held 2 out, weakened markedly between last 2, soon detached last, tailed off behind Mister Fisher. Last ran over 3m at Chepstow in November 2018 (off a mark of only 114) and shaped as though it was as far as he wanted to go, surviving a blunder 2 out and was closed on between the last and the line; on his only run last season – 3rd to Kalashnikov at Newbury in November 2019 – he pressed on in front going to the fourth last and couldn’t go with the winner from the last, fading and losing 2nd to the keeping-on Oldgrangewood. With competition for the lead here (the likes of Double Shuffle, Commodore and Rocco), he’s unlikely to see the race out even if he is on better form. Preferred engagement at Wincanton
West Approach
It’s looking as though his hard race against Frodon at Cheltenham on his seasonal debut has broken him for the season –  pushed along between last 2, couldn’t get to winner, about the same distance down last, very hard driven up the hill, one pace – as he took little interest and was tailed off behind Ramses De Teillee at Cheltenham next time, and was pulled up, again at Cheltenham, last time out (niggled along, dropped to detached last 13th, slow 16th and struggling under a push, tailed off 19th, pulled up before 2 out behind Storm Control). Best watched
Two For Gold*
Best performance last season when winning Grade 2 novices’ chase at Warwick roughly a year ago, pulling clear with Hold The Note and finding much more than his rival. Found out by the competitiveness of the race – and possibly the good ground – when pulled up in Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury last time, recovered from an early mistake and tracked leaders 12th, in close to 17th and pushed along away from it, ridden and faded approaching 4 out, put under pressure, well beaten and tiring in midfield 3 out, eased down and pulled up before 2 out. There’s nothing wrong with his reappearance form at Wetherby behind Huntsman Son – little left at the end after a forcing ride, the 1st 2 having come clear; there’s always the chance that this race will go the same way, but the going description suggests there’s more give here than at Newbury and he might do better
Ami Desbois
His 2019/20 season was a write-off in the main and his 2nd to Big River at Kelso last January stands out, led 4 out, was joined home turn, headed 2 out, hard ridden, put under pressure and pulled wide approaching last, lost ground and jumped last 5 lengths behind 1st 2, stayed on and took 2nd early on run-in under pressure, 1st 2 pulled clear, no impression final 100 yards; not out since pulling up at Sandown behind Deise Aba last February. Has gone well fresh in the past but not sure what we’ll get from him here; likely to be near the front
Double Shuffle*
Nothing much on reappearance when tailed off behind Present Man in veterans’ chase at Chepstow but, returned to his favourite track, showed much better at Kempton over Christmas, chased leader 7th, strong pace with field soon well strung out, brushed 8th, ridden into 12th, led 13th, ridden into 14th and niggled along after, mistake 15th, niggled along home turn with eventual winner Royale Pagaille all over him, firmly ridden along and headed approaching 3 out, hard driven and no extra as dropped away before 2 out, lost further ground between last 2 and well back last, no more. Only two unexposed horses – the winner and the 2nd Cap Du Nord – finished in front of him and maybe there’ll be more here
Guitar Pete
Hadn’t shown much since winning a Listed handicap chase at Wetherby in November 2019 and first form of this season last time out, at Wetherby on November 14th, although was typically hard work: midfield when ridden into 8th, pushed along and outpaced 12th, reminders approaching turn out of back straight, stayed on and closed on leaders approaching 4 out, driven, no impression approaching 3 out, not totally done with as closed on 1st 2 approaching last, in close to it, looked held after, driven and no extra run-in, stuck to task, 4th to Johnbb beaten 6 lengths – about as good as it gets these days with this one. A safe elimination here as his form over 2m7f or more comprises six double-digit defeats from six attempts
Beau Bay
On second start this season took the Grand Sefton over the National fences at Aintree last month, only mistake at the Foinavon fence (11th), pushed along and quite a bit to do as dropped to 9th some 6 lengths off leader approaching 2 out, put under pressure between last 2, passed a couple but disputing 6th and still 4 or 5 lengths down jumping last, sustained strong effort and passed more to go 2nd approaching the Elbow under pressure, led 200 yards out, stayed on strongly to pull clear last 150 yards, decisive by 5 lengths from Sir Jack Yeats. Up in trip to 3m, wasn’t backing it up when falling in Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby on Boxing Day, held up last, niggled along approaching 10th, pushed along turning out of back straight, making no ground when fell 4 out. Not bred to stay (half-brother Slew Charm best at up to 2m4f) and little expected
Saint Xavier
Won a small-field novice hurdle at Kempton last season when with Paul Nicholls, but shown little in three runs for Richard Hobson, his reappearance-7th to Cyrname in Charlie Hall at Wetherby (SP 250/1) now looking a flash in the pan, looked well held 4 out, no extra going to 3 out, kept on going to 2 out though made no ground, some 25 lengths adrift last, no more; was going nowhere in last pair when fell 12th behind Snow Leopardess and Commodore at Haydock, and in Welsh National Trial at Chepstow won by Secret Reprieve last time lost place and detached last 7th, niggled along and no headway by 9th, tailing off and pulled up somewhere on back straight. Now first time visored – the trainer’s record with first-time visored runners is 0 from 2 (also 0 from 2 with blinkered first time-runners)
Commodore
Last season was a write-off, but came back in good nick with an unlucky defeat at Haydock in November, led 3rd, tended to jump left, went 5 or 6 lengths clear home turn, moved largely comfortably and looked the most likely winner approaching 3 out, pushed along approaching 2 out, ridden and hung between last 2, was closed on approaching last, hard driven run-in, all out, ears flat back, was closed on last 150 yards, headed by Snow Leopardess two strides from the post, unlucky – finally got dog-tired on the prevailing heavy going (rained incessantly that day). Not as good behind Storm Control at Cheltenham next time, 5 lengths behind leader and only a length ahead of the others when mistake 4 out, was in a line of 3 disputing 2nd 3 out, pushed along home turn, every chance when brushed 2 out, hard driven and couldn’t go with winner approaching last, some 3 lengths down and looking held when mistake and unseated. Has won at Sandown before so might be okay round Kempton
Coo Star Sivola
After a 610-day layoff, the 2018 Ultima Handicap Chase-winner came back in the Anne Duchess Of Westminster Memorial at Bangor and did okay, led to 3rd, tracked leaders after, niggled along 9th, ridden into 11th, held place, disputed lead 3 out, pushed along home turn, headed 2 out, weakened, well back when slipped on landing last, tailed off – hard work at times but showed up well to the home turn, 29 lengths 5th to Notachance. Didn’t get far over the National fences in the Becher Chase at Aintree last time, with leaders, bumped rival 5th, took off too early and unseated rider 6th (The Chair). Chance on old form
Almazhar Garde
Best to date on second run this season when winning at Kelso on November 7th, 3 lengths clear approaching 7th, about 5 lengths clear when in close to 8th, mistake 9th, in close to 10th, was joined 2 out (normally 4 out), moved largely comfortably in narrow lead when hit last (normally 3 out), travelled best and opened up a 3-length lead home turn, pushed along approaching omitted 2 out, hard driven approaching omitted last, stayed on in clear lead, was closed on 250 yards out, driven out, all out, held on well from Get Out The Gate, but shaped as though the 2m5f133y of that race was as far as he wants to go. In a more competitive race, found wanting in Sir Peter O’Sullevan Memorial at Newbury last time behind Cap Du Nord, lost a bit of ground when ridden into 9th, mistake 10th and pushed along away from it, pushed along and dropped away after 12th, rear and tailing off home turn, pulled up before 4 out. Not for me here trying 3m
King Of Realms
Stand-out effort last season when 3rd to Clondaw Castle at Warwick last February over 2m4f when blinkered first time; fell 2nd in Silver Bowl (Cheltenham Festival consolation) at Kempton last March. In first-time cheekpieces, failed to do anything much at Ascot in November behind Espoir De Guye, mistake 2nd and quickly dropped to last, niggled along for a few strides, slow 3rd and niggled again, bumped rival 4th, headway and midfield when ridden into 6th, again niggled 9th, a bit slow 10th, slowed up markedly 11th and dropped to rear, ridden along and dropped to detached last approaching 12th, rapidly weakened further, slowed up to a walk and well tailed off by 14th, was 200 yards behind 15th, trailed in – a stunning ‘didn’t-want-to-know’. Has won over 3m, but barely stayed when winning in a small field at Warwick in March 2019 and nothing expected here in cheekpieces again
Rocco*
Won at Stratford in October 2019, but better form last season when runner-up at Leicester over 2m7f that December, hard ridden and outpaced after 3 out, effort under a ride from 2 out and stayed on on outer approaching last, lost ground and jumped it in last some 2 or 3 lengths down, switched outer to middle and put under pressure, stayed on well last 200 yards, took 2nd half a furlong out, went away from the 3rd and closed on Pistol Whipped a little bit close home, always held. On second and latest run so far this season came back to form with good 2nd to Lock’s Corner over 2m4f at Kempton in November, led and jumped soundly in the main, moved comfortably till niggled along home turn, pushed along passing omitted 3 out, soon hard ridden, stayed on, steadied into and mistake 2 out, headed by Lock’s Corner, hard ridden, kept on but no impression approaching last, hard driven, stuck to task run-in, no extra. Good run and beaten only by a horse on a roll. Yet to win at 3m but finished the Leicester race as though he’ll get the trip and good chance here

Shortlist: Two For Gold, Double Shuffle, Rocco

Kempton 3:30
Ladbrokes Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle Class 1 Listed
2m5f – Going: Soft (Good to Soft in places) – 20 runners

Solo
Didn’t get home after racing too keenly in Elite Hurdle at Wincanton behind Sceau Royal on reappearance, and again to a greater extent on softer ground – stiffer track to boot – behind Benson at Sandown last month, well held under a ride between last 2, tired and heavy-legged from last, was closed on by the next ones last 100 yards and just about tailed off. One can only assume that Paul Nicholls has had a brain freeze in declaring this one for this race over 2m5f
Amour De Nuit
Successful reappearance after a lay-off in 0-140 handicap hurdle over 2m4f at Plumpton in November,  jockey appeared to be struggling to hold one side of him (leaning to the right) approaching 6th, headway and tracked leaders when ridden into 8th, upsides leader 3 out, travelled best of the field home turn, led 2 out, shaken up, led and went clear approaching last, driven out by just under a length from Buckhorn George; ran to best but arguably didn’t see it out late on behind Flash The Steel at Newbury last time out, midfield, edging closer when took off too early and landed on 3 out (lucky not to fall), niggled along, kept on and around 2 lengths down 2 out, hard ridden, stayed on approaching last, took 2nd nearing it, jumped right, hard driven, stayed on till carried tail high and no extra last 100 yards. Twice a course winner, but is the wrong side of 8 and has no jumps wins to his name in fields of 10 or more
The Cashel Man
It’s been downhill since he ran 2nd to Thyme Hill in the 2019 Challow Hurdle, with four double-digit defeats since he was awarded a 3-runner race at Bangor in February (SP 1/6); did too much in his usual blinkers before a blunder finished him off behind The Mighty Don at Chepstow on chasing debut in October, and last time at Newbury was more settled but still checked out, giving up the lead before 3 out, well held 2 out and eased when well held, 7th beaten 15 lengths behind Hill Sixteen. With a lot of miles on the clock having started on the Flat as a 2-year old in 2014, will set the race up from the front but looks unlikely to be a player
Hunters Call 
Most consistent since making a winning comeback from a 921-day layoff when jumping resumed post-lockdown on July 1st at Southwell over 2m4f, giving his running on all four subsequent starts (including 4th to Aramon in the Galway Hurdle when regular rider Richard Johnson wasn’t in the saddle and he pulled his way forward at an early stage, made most of the running and had nothing left at the end) – although last time at Aintree when 3rd to Kateson he looked as though he’d go closer than he did, some 4 lengths 7th home turn and travelled best, taken wide approaching 2 out, ridden into and reached for it, niggled along, upsides when steadied into last, hard ridden, didn’t find more under pressure, just kept on last 200 yards. Massive trend to overcome – since the Lanzarote was first run over 2m5f in 2007 no horse older than 8 has won
The White Mouse *
Leapt in the ratings since taking two Class 2 mares’ handicaps, held up and keen early but strong at the finish when defeating Perfect Myth 2 lengths at Wincanton in November on good ground, then had to work harder at Cheltenham last month on soft, midfield, niggled along at the top of the hill, ridden along from 2 out and not going best, stayed on to track leaders approaching home turn, effort and stayed on to lead coming off the bend, was challenged by Eglantine Du Seuil last, hard driven up the hill, found extra, wandered left, pulled clear last 150 yards. A bit to find at the weights but this progressive rodent is fully entitled to take on the geldings here
Glynn
Won his only Irish point, then went to Nicky Henderson and won his only start last season readily – a maiden hurdle over 2m3f at Doncaster, led 3 out on the bit and not troubled to go clear – given an unnecessary reminder on the run-in as he beat Buzz De Turcoing 11 lengths. Not seen again till his reappearance this season, again at Doncaster over 2m3f, in a 0-140 handicap hurdle on December 11th, keen early, travelled comfortably home turn, niggled along approaching 3 out, shaken up after it, lugged left, held place to 2 out, chased winner there, put under pressure, no extra and couldn’t go with winner between last 2, well held last, hard driven and lost well-held 2nd run-in, no more, 8 lengths 3rd to the disqualified winner Eaton Hill. Lacks experience but that Doncaster race looks good form, with original 2nd Ecco and 4th Group Stage (at Fakenham on Monday this week) running well since
Big Bad Bear
Failed to take to fences 1st 2 runs this season (only medium height, but is well made), and switched to hurdles last time, returned to winning ways at Doncaster on November 28th, tracked leaders, mistakes, ridden along from 3 out, effort and drew upsides leader, wandered nearing 2 out, mistake, led, hard ridden, stayed on well approaching last, slowed into it and final mistake, headed, hard ridden and ran on to lead 150 yards out, drew clear of Tayzar final strides. Jumping is the main worry here as he goes up in class – consistency has been an issue up to now too
Boreham Bill
Was only out the once after a winning reappearance at Stratford in October 2019 (tracked leaders, the odd mistake, idled in front when driven) and was down the field at Cheltenham in October 2019. Failed to take to fences in three novice chase starts this season; returned to hurdles last time out, in a Pertemps Qualifier at Kempton in November and shaped much better, held up and mistakes, effort and led between last 2, hard ridden, went left and mistake last, stayed on, headed 150 yards out, rallied last 50 yards and closing on eventual 2nd but lost 2nd final stride. He went as much as half a length down to Younevercall, then rallied and was closing, only for Storm Goddess to swamp both of them in the last stride; he jumped left in the closing stages though, and it might be that there’s a reason why his most recent run on a right-handed track before last time out was on Boxing Day 2017
One True King*
Progressing in five runs so far this season; arguably best to date in handicap at Cheltenham two starts ago, looked strong in front approaching 2 out, ridden into it, pushed along home turn, was closed on and hung left under a ride, headed approaching last, hard driven, stayed on under strong pressure and still every chance 150 yards out, closed on those ahead,took 2nd and gaining on Lively Citizen last 50 yards, just failed. Not troubled in an ordinary novice at Leicester last time, niggled along from 3 out, pressed on and went 3 or 4 lengths ahead of eventual 2nd Elysian Flame (himself well clear of the rest) approaching 2 out, pushed along and stayed on well to go further clear approaching last, well ahead run-in. A half-brother to 2m4f-winner Robin On The Hill, he seems sure to stay
Mount Mews
Blows hot and cold nowadays, but no question that he should have won in a Pertemps Qualifier at Carlisle last time; last pair home turn, moved comfortably and taking 3rd when mistake 2 out, effort delayed, moved much the best but still 2 or 3 lengths to find last, hard ridden, ran on, led 150 yards out, idled once he got to the front, very hard driven, not stay on, headed by the genuine No Hiding Place last strides. On the strength of that he’s now blinkered first time, and his trainer Donald McCain’s record with such horses is 2 wins from 42 runners in the last five years (most recent June 2019, the other in 2016)
Polish
Only one win from seven runs over hurdles so far, at Ludlow last February, came from midfield, a little on and off the bit final circuit, prominent home turn, niggled along, not clear run 3 out, quickly switched, stayed on, disputed lead 2 out, went left under a push then wandered the other way before mistake last, hard driven last 150 yards to beat Dagueneau . Failed to impress when placed in two runs at Cheltenham this season, two serious blunders before running 3rd to Streets Of Doyen there in October then 3rd to Does He Know in Grade 2 there in November, disputed 2nd when mistake 3 out, only a length and a bit down when mistake 2 out, hard ridden home turn, shuffled back to 4th straightening, kept on and moved in to 2nd after last only to lose it to the staying-on Wild Romance 150 yards out. Not sure where we stand with this one, but what’s for sure is that his jumping needs to improve
Castle Robin
Progressing second-season hurdler won at Carlisle in October then a 0-125 handicap at Cheltenham in November, travelled comfortably at the top of the hill after 7th, moved best as disputed lead approaching 2 out, in close to it, pushed along approaching home turn, chased leader, put under pressure turning in, the best jump last, hard driven and led, stayed on well to assert from Silent Assistant; probably bettered it when 2nd to Emir Sacree in a 0-130 at Ascot last month, tracked leaders from 7th, shaken up home turn, at most half a length down 2 out, put under pressure,  stayed on approaching last, mistake, hard driven, sustained effort under driving till no extra last 100 yards. A bit to find but unexposed
Shang Tang
Was yet to win over hurdles when reappearing this season; didn’t impress with finishing effort when 3rd to Arrivederci at Wetherby on reappearance, midfield, headway and chased leader on the bit approaching 3 out, briefly niggled along and effort delayed approaching 2 out, shaken up between last 2, every chance till outpaced nearing last, driven run-in and went left over to far side rail, not stay on and lost ground on 2nd last 150 yards, beaten 7 lengths. First win in a 4-runner novice at Ascot in November, challenged on the bit approaching 2 out, led on landing, shaken up, ran on to draw clear from last, beat Southfield Harvest 3 lengths. Fell 1st at Wincanton last time. Unexposed but no certainty to find the necessary off the bridle
Gerolamo Cardano
Sole win over hurdles to date when going in at Hereford in January, midfield before 4th, nudged along and prominent approaching 2 out, chased leader going better than most after it, led going best home turn, pushed along approaching last, ears pricked, not fluent, driven out from Artistic Language; subsequently placed in a weak renewal of the Grade 2 juvenile at Cheltenham in January but disappointing in Boodles at the Cheltenham Festival, firmly pushed along at the top of the hill, quickly became tailed off, pulled up before 3 out. His dam’s best run on the Flat was over 1m4f (failed to stay 1m6f) and I don’t think this one will stay on this first try at the trip
Shinobi
Second win in novice hurdles when defying a penalty at Wincanton in October, made all, travelled best as 3 pulled clear approaching home turn, niggled along once in line for home, more firmly pushed along approaching 2 out, was 3 lengths up jumping, hard ridden, put under pressure between last 3, sustained effort though was closed on approaching last, steadied into it and challenger upsides, left clear when Golden Gift’s rider fell off a few strides after the last; perhaps a little below that (albeit under a double-penalty) at Ludlow last time, made most and mistakes, moved largely comfortably as 1st 3 pulled clear, steadied into 2 out, mistake and headed, hard driven, wandered left approaching last as winner asserted, looked held when final mistake, driven and continued to go left under pressure, no more last 150 yards, kept on but well held, was closed on by the 3rd final strides, 7 lengths 2nd to Wildfire Warrior but gave the impression he could have done better. Not sure what we’ll get from him but as he normally front-runs, likely to be a sitting duck
Everglow
After a couple of tough asks on his first two hurdle races – tailed off behind McFabulous in Persian War at Chepstow and then running 2nd to subsequent Grade 2 scorer Star Gate, also at Chepstow – won his third start over timber at Ascot on December 18th in a small field, started a move coming up from Swinley Bottom and disputed lead 7th, the better jump 8th and pressed on in a half-length lead, niggled along approaching home turn, pushed along home turn, ears pricked approaching 2 out, a length up jumping, hard ridden, put under pressure between last 2, stayed on well and further clear when mistake last, wandered run-in, driven out, stayed on well last 150 yards, decisive from Fearless Fracas. Having made a serious move with 4 to jump, when he got to the front he idled – pricking his ears and just doing enough to pull clear, then wandering a little on the run-in – and the suspicion is he won that with a bit in hand. He has a ton to find on the bare form, but he’s one of the least exposed
Exod’ela
Only win over hurdles to date in a 6-runner novice at Ludlow last February. On second start this season ran well in a competitive 0-140 handicap at Cheltenham in October, prominent to midfield most of the way, struggling under pressure 2 out, well back home turn, was in 13th with 8 lengths to find and hard driven approaching last, stayed on strongly last 200 yards, passed several, took 5th close home behind Captain Tom Cat, beaten just over 3 lengths and shaping as though 3m would suit him – he tried that in a small field at Bangor last time but it didn’t work out, led 5th, mistake 6th, also mistake 7th and reminders after, pushed along approaching 8th, another reminder approaching 9th, pressed on and drew 5 or 6 lengths clear before 3 out, was closed on approaching home turn, pushed along and not going as well as Robin Gold approaching 2 out, put under pressure between last 2, headed nearing last, mistake, readily outpaced, beaten a length as the winner was eased. Tailed off behind Shang Tang at Ascot between those runs, chances are he’ll hit a flat spot; he wears first time cheekpieces, and his trainer Jamie Snowden’s record is 2 wins from 17 such runners – a few 2nds as well, so not without hope
Mahler’s Promise
Only victory so far over hurdles at Newbury last December, SP 33/1, chased leader 3 out, raced away from the others towards inner until tacked across to the right next to nearest rival and a loose horse approaching 2 out, shaken up after it, led, lugged left but stayed on approaching last, mistake, hard ridden, stayed on 200 yards out, found extra to beat Enemy Coast Ahead. Was keen when weakening off the home turn, making mistakes as he dropped back, when 7th to Regarding Ruth at Warwick two starts ago and fell (for the second time over hurdles) last time at Fontwell, settling better this time, good ground and tracked leaders turning out of back straight, niggled along approaching 2 out, stayed on, chased leader under a push between last 2, keeping on when fell last – likely to have been beaten some 3 lengths behind the winner Miss Jeanne Moon. Bred to stay but pulls too hard to get home over the trip at the moment
Dhowin 
Only win over hurdles so far when beating Exod’ela at Hereford in November 2019, tracked leaders 7th, chased leader bend before 2 out, pushed along approaching it, hard ridden approaching home turn, 1st 2 a little way clear, led narrowly approaching last, a length up jumping, hard driven, stayed on well run-in. Was improved on second start this season, last time out at Ascot behind Emir Sacree (and reopposing Castle Robin), good ground approaching 7th, ridden into 3 out, travelled comfortably till niggled along home turn when in something of a pocket on inside rail and had 3 lengths to find, pushed along approaching 2 out, mistake, hard ridden between last 2, kept on but one pace when put under pressure approaching last, went left and mistake, hard driven run-in, picked up and closed on 1st 2 last 150 yards, never getting there, nearest finish.Likely there’s a bit more to come from this one, he didn’t get the rub of the green on the home turn at Ascot
Misty Whisky*
Mare on a roll and lines up on a hattrick, her win at Uttoxeter in November followed by another over 2m5f at Ludlow last month, mistake 1st and shuffled back to rear, good ground and midfield before 3rd, further ground and prominent when mistake 6th, mistake 8th and pushed along for a few strides after it, came back on the bit and made ground to track leaders turning out of back straight, took 2nd and chased leader on long run to home turn, 1st 2 pulled clear, travelled the best as led approaching 3 out, jumped right, pushed along, stayed on to go further clear before mistake 2 out, pushed along and sustained effort when went right and mistake last, hard driven run-in, all out, driven out, didn’t look to have a lot left but stayed on well to beat Getaweapon. On ground becoming more testing by the minute, she didn’t have much left at the end, but it was obvious who was best in the Ludlow race turning for home, the horse doing most of it by herself on the way round. Jumping a concern but she looks ahead of her mark

Shortlist: The White Mouse, One True King, Misty Whisky