Frodon runs in the Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton this afternoon.
It’s a really good day of racing ahead, with quality action at Warwick and Kempton as well as competitive supporting cards at Lingfield, Wetherby and Chelmsford. There are seven races live on ITV4, including the McCoy Contractors Civil Engineering Classic Handicap Chase at Warwick (15:00); a race won by subsequent Grand National hero One For Arthur in 2017.
I’ve picked out five bets today. Good luck if you decide to follow.
TOTAL COMMITMENT (NAP at 10/3) comes here in good form having wonthree of his five All-Weather starts to date. It’s interesting that he was recently purchased for 200,000gns following two decisive wins at Kempton, and after leaving Roger Charlton for Peter Hedger, he made a very respectable stable debut at Wolverhampton on his return from a short break. That came in a higher grade and he goes off the same handicap mark at 13:25 today. Another positive is the booking of record-breaking jockey Hollie Doyle. He tends to be quick away from the gates and is well drawn in stall three.
Three miles on soft ground should really suit the Dan Skelton-trained ARDLETHEN (9/2), who won on his seasonal reappearance at Chepstow before finishing second to one of the leading novices Sam Spinner next time out. Although he finished last of the three runners in a Grade 2 at Newbury last time out, he travelled well through the race and may not have been suited by the application of first-time cheekpieces, which are removed today. He’s the joint highest rated of these runners and should go well at 13:50.
I’m surprised that WHATSUPWITHYOU (9/1) has been overlooked in the betting for the novices’ hurdle at 14:25 given the style of his debut victory under rules at Ascot last month. That win confirmed his liking for soft ground and he saw out the extended 2m5f well, as you’d expect for a horse that had previously won a Point To Point. He hurdled well at Ascot and is open to plenty of improvement for trainer Ben Pauling, who won this race in 2017 with the subsequent Grade 1 Cheltenham Festival winner Willoughby Court.
The Grade 2 Unibet Silviniaco Conti Chase at 14:05 looks a really good opportunity for the thoroughly likeable FRODON (6/4) to get back to winning ways. Having won the Ryanair Chase in typically gutsy fashion at last year’s Cheltenham Festival, he returned to action at Aintree in October. However, a line can be put through that run as he wasn’t suited by the omission of several obstacles due to low sun. He then went back up in trip for the Betfair Chase at Haydock but looked to be outstayed and finished behind the high-class pair of Lostintranslation and Bristol De Mai. He won over this course and distance as a novice and should relish the drop in both trip and grade.
35 minutes later at 14:40, the progressive NOTRE PARI (3/1) can land the Unibet Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle for trainer Olly Murphy. This six-year-old son of Jeremy made a really good impression when powering clear of his rivals at Aintree last time out. He appeared to benefit from the step up in trip that day and looks a worthy market leader for this race.