Against all the gloom and doom forecasts by the meteorology pundits, all three jump meetings go ahead today, albeit on varying ground, and there are feature races at both Kempton and Warwick.
The 32Red Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle at 2.40 is the centrepiece at Kempton and has attracted a field of 14. Favourite at 11-2 is the Jonjo O’Neill trained Doesyourdogbite, which is unbeaten over hurdles, having won two novice events and a handicap, which was over course and distance on Boxing Day.
Now up to a mark of 138, there could be more to come from this son of Notnowcato but a better wager may be lurking, so despite paying homage to the late Peter Sellers, we look elsewhere.
Second favourite is the Venetia Williams trained Bennys King, which beat a couple of trees at Uttoxeter on New Year’s Eve and, not sitting on the fence, I can’t have this one for anyone’s money off a mark of 128.
In Jaleo, however, we have the makings of a bet. Ex John Ferguson, but significantly still in the ownership of Bloomfields, this 5-y-o made its debut for Ben Pauling at Leafy Lingfield in December and produced a remarkable performance to win, going away, from a most unpromising position. Ridden then, as today, by owner’s son Alex, Jaleo has been pointed at this contest ever since and could reward e/w punters at a tasty 8-1.
Continuing the Ferguson theme, another former inmate also takes part today, having its second run for Seamus Mullins. Chesterfield was an undoubted ‘eye catcher’ behind Brain Power at Ascot, making stylish late headway in the manner of a well-handicapped horse. Thus we recommend a small ‘cover’ bet on this one, also at 8-1.
Big race at Warwick is the Betfred Classic Handicap Chase at 3.35 over 3m5f in hock deep mud – oh goody.
Favourite for last year’s race, but getting no further than the first fence, was the Alan King trained Sego Success and here he is again for another go. Lightly raced, well weighted and laid out for this, it’s a no-brainer to have a small each way punt at 10-1, especially with first time blinkers to tart up its jumping.
Finally, don’t forget to watch the England one-dayer tomorrow morning to see how the policy of having a non-playing captain works. If Morgan survives more than two balls, he will have improved on his performance in the two warm-ups.