Kempton Race Preview, 11/01/20

Saturday January 11th

Kempton 2.40
Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle Class 1 Listed
2m5f – Going: Good to Soft (Soft in places) – 14 runners

Canyon City
Always prominent to win at Haydock on good ground in May; largely struggled since, though there was some promise on reappearance at Newbury in November, when in with every chance to the third last. Doesn’t come in to this race at the top of his game, last time at Kempton on Boxing Day off the bit from the start, kept on a little before mistake 3 out, ridden and little impression home turn. Hard to fancy
Vive Le Roi
After a purple patch last season which culminated with a win at Newbury in November 2018, has largely struggled off higher marks, but last time gave it a real good go in a bid to win the Newbury race for a second time, ridden along approaching 3 out and disputed lead there, hard ridden with every chance 2 out, couldn’t go with Champers On Ice from last, ridden and stayed on last 175 yards, one pace close home and lost 2nd final strides. Has only raced right-handed three times in his career with form figures of 38F, last racing this way round in April 2018 – obvious pace angle, but not sure this is his track
Seems to have lost his way over fences since his annual visits to Ayr in April 2018, not running there in 2019. On last two starts was held up before falling at the third at Galway in August in a conditions chase won by Yorkhill, and on ground probably too soft, got out of contention and pulled up final circuit in race won by Northern Beau at Cheltenham in December. Well treated on this return to hurdles but hard to fancy on what he’s been doing over the last year and a bit
Burrows Park*
Three wins last season; returned to form this with a tough performance to land the spoils at Hereford on December 14th under a terrific ride by Miss Lucy Turner who’s up again, was joined up front approaching 5th, mistake 6th, niggled along, pushed along 7th, 1st 2 pulled clear, not going as well as Ballyellis approaching 2 out, hit it, hard ridden approaching home turn, bumped rival when short of room on inner approaching inside rail starting the bend, sustained effort under a strong ride and still disputed lead last, hard driven and found the most in the last 175 yards, leaned on runner-up a little 150 yards out, pulling away at the post. The 7 lbs that Miss Turner takes off is valuable – this one’s likely to make the first half-dozen at least
Larkbarrow Lad
On this card last year was runner-up to Bailarico in the 3m novices’ hurdle. Not out of the first two over hurdles up to now, has been off since October when winning competitive novices’ handicap at Worcester in October, led in at the start and ridden along briefly to get going, ridden into 6th and niggled along away from it, ridden into and in close to 7th, pushed along in 8th with 5 lengths to find home turn, mistake 3 out but travelled better as made ground, chance 2 out, niggled along and drew upsides approaching last, chased runner-up when mistake, hard ridden, effort and stayed on well last 150 yards to assert over The Vollan. Not a comfortable passage from the start to the last, getting it done in the end, and this is a tougher race
Eragon De Chanay
Looked hard work when winning at Wincanton in February 2019 and hasn’t really blipped on the radar since, including over fences; last time reverted to hurdles at Kempton on Boxing Day and nothing happened, pushed along approaching 5th and 6th as pace increased, soon hard ridden, held place, put under pressure after 4 out, closed on those ahead, hard ridden and weakened approaching home turn, rear of main group and dropped away turning in, tailed off 2 out behind Honest Vic. Little expected
Burrows Edge*
Best effort last season when good 2nd at Kempton in February, prominent 5th, tracked leaders 7th, niggled along after 3 out, ridden along home turn, close enough when mistake 2 out, put under pressure, carried head awkwardly, some 2 or 3 lengths down last, driven, stayed on run-in, closed on Erick Le Rouge last 100 yards but not quite get up. Only start so far this season was over fences at Ludlow in December and jumping let him down, disputed lead 9th, led 10th, niggled along approaching 13th, disputed lead and pushed along when fell 4 out, race won by Espoir De Teillee – he’d at least have been a good runner-up if he’d stood up. Straight back over hurdles, the form against Erick Le Rouge gives him claims
Won over 2m7f at Hexham in October; struggled since, although didn’t run badly in Grade 3 handicap hurdle over 3m at Haydock in November, mistake 2nd, still hadn’t settled by 5th, was more settled when mistake 7th, niggled along 8th, mistake 9th, stayed on home turn, effort under a push and closed on leaders approaching 3 out, put under pressure in 4th from 2 out, no impression on leaders under a drive approaching last, weakened final furlong, looked very heavy-legged final 150 yards. Very testing ground got the better of him in an ordinary 2m4f novice at Southwell won by Keen On next time, held place home turn under a ride, soon put under pressure, weakened quickly straightening, last and tailing off 2 out, trailed in. Regardless of the circumstances he isn’t seeing out his races and I don’t think this one will be there at the end
Notre Pari*
Progressing novice hurdler got his first win in Class 2 handicap at Aintree in December, held up rear, headway and midfield 6th, in close and went right 3 out (cross hurdle), further headway travelling comfortably once in line for home and tracked leaders 2 out, travelled best of the field when pulled wide and briefly shaken up approaching last, challenged on the bit jumping, led, ridden, found extra, went left under a ride, ridden out, stayed on well to pull clear of One Night In Milan. Took that with a bit in hand and showed pace round that sharp track; good chance again
Took seven attempts to win a hurdle race but finally managed it at Hereford in December in a strange race to say the least, midfield, took a hold, steady to medium pace as tearaway leader and 2nd (who went clear of the rest himself from 3rd) were ignored, pushed along after 3 out as some of the others set about chasing down 1st 2, stayed on in a line of 3 disputing 3rd 2 out with 10 lengths to find, raced wide, reeled them in under pressure approaching home turn, hung right but led under driving approaching last, clear jumping it, ridden out, stayed on to maintain advantage, decisive from I’m Wiser Now. It came down to stamina in the end, this one coming under a strong ride with six furlongs to go. Needs to improve a lot to get into this
Vinnie Dev
Won his novice at Uttoxeter in November but hasn’t impressed since, at Ascot in November when 3rd to Valtor pushed along and going worst of the field before 3 out, held place, narrow lead home turn, ridden, headed 2 out, hard driven, faded approaching last, carried head to one side and lost further ground on 1st 2 last 175 yards, and at Doncaster in December ran worse when tailed off behind One Touch, every chance under a push home turn, carried head high and not stay on approaching 3 out, weakened under a hand ride approaching 2 out, no more. Confident swerve
Gortroe Joe
Hard to win with, normally dropped out in rear, and on both of his two best runs of his last five he looked on for a better finish than he achieved, at Wetherby in November moved strongly approaching last as produced to challenge, a length down jumping, put under pressure, outpaced, no extra last 150 yards when 3rd to Mr Scrumpy, and at Kempton on Boxing Day good ground going comfortably and prominent 3 out, niggled along home turn, produced to challenge on the bit approaching 2 out, shaken up after it, outpaced, couldn’t go with 1st 2 and well held last, lost 3rd jumping, put under pressure and no more last 175 yards when 4th to Honest Vic. Hard to see a win happening here
Tight Call
Not straightforward; second hurdles win when taking a small-field novice at Fontwell in April, niggled along in front after 3 out and went clear, some 8 to 10 lengths up home turn, safe when went right and all over the place last, pushed out, was closed on but stayed on well enough to beat Lord Condi. Reappearance and only start so far this season, a long way off that at Market Rasen on October 19th, prominent, moved comfortably 3 out, chased leader when niggled along home turn, shaken up approaching 2 out and effort to dispute lead, headed when in close to it, weakened quickly between last 2, dropped further back after last, no more and 4th to Honest Vic. The best of last season’s form gives him a chance
Until last two runs had raced exclusively at Plumpton, but improved in staying handicaps at better places last two, firstly when 6th to Champers On Ice at Newbury on November 29th and last time at Cheltenham led 8th, in close to 9th, ridden into 10th, was challenged 2 out, niggled along surrounded by rivals approaching home turn, ridden along approaching last, headed some 175 yards off it, still chance of a place jumping, put under pressure, stayed on till faded last 125 yards, weakened close home. Up with the pace throughout, he didn’t come up the hill and it was a better run than his finishing position of 5th to Goodbye Dancer. This is his first run right-handed but if he acts on the track, he could do something

Shortlist: Burrows Park, Burrows Edge, Notre Pari

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