Three tips today from Kelso and one from Southwell
It was great to see Frodon back to winning ways in the Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton yesterday. Last year’s Ryanair Chase hero had excuses for his two defeats so far this season but took advantage of a drop in both trip and grade to gain a deserved and popular win.
With racing often having to battle public perception, partnerships such as that between Frodon and his excellent jockey Bryony Frost are priceless. It has been said many times, but Bryony is a tremendous ambassador for the sport and the passion she exudes in her interviews is incredibly impressive. It’ll be interesting to see if connections now go for a repeat Ryanair victory or whether the lure of a Gold Cup will prove too tempting.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t a lot else for me to cheer yesterday. Total Commitment (NAP) ran well enough to finish second at Lingfield in a race won by the tactically astute Richard Kingscote on board Fizzy Feet; a horse put up by me on a couple of occasions in the past few months.
The biggest disappointment of the day came in the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton, where my selection, Notre Pari, fell at the last when making a challenge. The leader at the time also stumbled and unseated his rider to gift the race to Burrows Edge.
On to today’s racing and I’ve picked out four bets from the meetings at Kelso and Southwell. Good luck if you decide to follow.
Despite now being 11-years-old, CHARLIE SNOW ANGEL (14/1) comes in to the handicap chase at 12:50 in arguably the best form of his life having won his last two starts in good style. As a result, he’ll run off a career-high mark of 104 today, but this lightly-raced chaser still gets in towards the bottom of the weights and should remain competitive. In addition, he has a good record when racing at Kelso, with form figures of 2P31233 from his seven previous visits here. He also looks set to encounter his optimum ground conditions.
The Class 3 handicap chase at 15:00 can go to the progressive KNOCKOURA (NAP at 4/1), who comes here on a hat-trick following recent wins at Ayr and Bangor. This eight-year-old has made just six starts under rules and only three over fences, so he remains open to plenty more improvement with race conditions very much to suit. He is proven on testing ground and will have no problem with today’s trip having won over three miles last time out.
The final race on the card at 15:35 looks a good opportunity for STARPLEX (15/8) to also land a hat-trick. This ten-year-old should relish today’s underfoot conditions and his ability to stay further could be a big advantage. He’s a strong traveller and is still a 1lb lower than his winning mark of 99 less than three years ago, despite now being in the best form of his career. Brian Hughes takes the ride and will be hoping for another winner in his quest to become Champion Jockey.
THE RIGHT CHOICE (13/2) has been placed on each of his last two visits to Southwell and is now 3lbs lower than when he scored in a higher grade over this course and distance a year ago. That makes him undoubtably well-handicapped, and the booking of jockey Daniel Muscutt catches the eye. Muscutt has ridden seven winners from just 28 rides at the Nottinghamshire track in the last five years (25% strike-rate) and has been in good form lately with four winners in the past fortnight at a 20% strike-rate.