Weekend Racing Blog: Focus on Kempton Park this Saturday featuring the Dovecote Hurdle

Calico the Improver in Kempton Grade 2 Novices’ Hurdle

The Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle is one of three Grade 2 races at Kempton Park (3pm off-time) on Saturday.

All seven runners have won at least one race but Atholl Street (2/1 at BetVictor) has the highest Official Rating of the five horses who have run enough times to earn a mark.

The Paul Nicholls trained six-year-old has won two races from two starts this season and has the best form. Those impressive wins were in smaller events at Taunton but Atholl Street looks good enough to graduate to graded level.

Any impressive winner of the Kempton race gets in the mix for one of the big Novice Hurdle races at the Cheltenham Festival. Atholl Street is the current 2/1 favourite with Ladbrokes and if he has an easy win all roads could then lead to Cheltenham.

However, Calico (11/4 with BetVictor) looks progressive and could improve to a high enough level to win this race. The horse was a comfortable winner of a novice hurdle at Ludlow in January and has decent Flat form in France and Germany and ultimately could be the best horse in the field over hurdles.

Tritonic Possible Market Mover For Triumph

Tritonic has been all the rage for the Adonis Juvenile Hurdle earlier on the same card at 2.25pm and is odds on in some places but can still be backed odds against at 6/5 with BetVictor.

The contest for horses aged four over two miles is a trial race for the Triumph Hurdle at the Festival. Tritonic really must win this with something in hand to be a contender for that race.

The Alan King trained gelding is a dual purpose horse in the hands of a past master at preparing his charges to excel in both codes. Tritonic finished second in a handicap over one mile and two furlongs at Royal Ascot last June which is standout form at this level.

He is the shortest priced UK runner in the ante post betting for the Triumph Hurdle behind the three market leaders trained in Ireland. Tritonic will be a significant market mover with a good win at Kempton so if you fancy him for the Triumph, place your bets before the prep race on Saturday.

GA Law Looks Best In Grade 2 Novices’ Chase

The Novices’ Chase for horses aged five and older over two miles, four and a bit furlongs at 1.50pm looks a good opportunity for Tamaroc Du Mathan (best priced 5/4 with Betfair) to win for the second time in three starts.

However, GA Law has the higher Official Rating and offers the better value at 7/4 with bet365*

Coole Cody (9/2 with bet365*) won the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham in November but that race is a handicap and this is the first run in graded company.

Son Of Camas (14/1 at BetVictor) was a beaten favourite last time out but this race is a big jump in quality and he looks outclassed.

GA Law was 10 and a half lengths behind Allmankind in third place in a Grade 1 Novices’ Chase at Sandown Park in November. That form has been boosted by the winner so GA Law looks to have the best proven form in this four-runner contest.

And Finally…

The 2021 Grand National is scheduled for Saturday, April 10th which is two days before betting offices are due to open in England.

It would make logical sense to rearrange the Grand National race for that Monday or the following Saturday. The race is very important for the industry so having the betting offices open on the day of the race massively benefits the finances of horse racing.

Let’s hope all the interested parties work together to make sure once a year punters can have their £1 each-way cash bets on the Grand National in their local betting shop in 2021 even though there won’t be any actual racegoers at Aintree.

It’s still the “people’s race” and most famous steeplechase in the sport.

Grand National Update

Breaking news just coming through as I write and it’s bad news for the betting shops. The big race will remain on 11th April with a scheduled off-time of 5,15pm.

* Horse racing betting odds quoted were correct at the time of writing. All odds are subject to change.