Longshot Ted: House to strike at Kempton, while there's 20/1 and 33/1 tips for the Cheltenham Festival

Slate House is a leading contender at Kempton this weekend.
Slate House is a leading contender at Kempton this weekend.

Ed Quigley takes a look at Kempton's action on Saturday, while he has two big-priced selections for the 2021 Cheltenham Festival...

It is the Close Brothers Handicap Chase at Kempton on Saturday, and this looks the perfect opportunity for SLATE HOUSE to get back to winning ways. With the Colin Tizzard team revitalised in recent months, if he puts his best foot forward, he is more than entitled to win. He has rather lost his way since landing the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices' Chase just over a year ago, but has eased to a mark of 148 from a peak mark of 156, and showed signs of encouragement when third at Wincanton last time out despite not jumping well over an inadequate trip. Returning to the scene of his best performance to date, he has to be taken seriously with the return to 3m looking a major positive. When on song, he is a good jumper and a strong traveller, so you will probably know your fate from early on. He looks too well treated on the basis of his back class from only just over a year ago and is worth one more roll of the dice here.

Close Brothers Handicap Chase
Slate House silk

Slate House

lost
Cheltenham Festival Tips

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As far as the Cheltenham Festival is concerned, GRAND ROI is one who stands out in the Coral Cup for the Gordon Elliott team. A lightly raced individual, Elliott has given him the green light for this contest in a recent stable bulletin and I think he looks just the type the flourish stepped back up in trip. Formerly with Nicky Henderson, he is a winner of 3 of his 5 starts over hurdles, so despite being light on experience for a race of this nature, he is usually a sound jumper of an obstacle, and his unexposed tag means he has the propensity to be better than his current mark. I expect this strong travelling type to be buried in the pack and produced late. Better ground could bring about even more improvement, and he makes plenty of appeal at 20/1.

The Kim Muir can be a tricky puzzle to solve, but at 33/1, last year's third, BOB MAHLER looks overpriced. Especially considering that he arrives 5lb lower than he did 12 months ago. He has followed a very similar path to last year, by having his prep run at Musselburgh and connections seem to be eyeing up the prize once again. Warren Greatrex insists that better ground will see him in even better light, and the yard have tasted success in the contest with Missed Approach landing this back in 2018. He jumps, he stays and he has all important Festival experience in the locker. I expect him to be ridden prominently, and off a mark of 135, he could easily be in the shake up once more at a big price.

Coral Cup
Grand Roi silk

Grand Roi

Kim Muir
Bob Mahler silk

Bob Mahler

Selections:

Close Brothers Handicap Chase: Kempton, Saturday 27th February - back Slate House, 1pt win at 11/1 (generally)

Coral Cup, Cheltenham Festival, Wednesday 17th March - back Grand Roi, 1pt win at 20/1 (bet365)

Kim Muir Handicap Chase, Cheltenham Festival, Thursday 18th March - back Bob Mahler, 1pt win at 33/1 (generally)

Cheltenham Festival

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