Kempton 3PM Racing Preview
February 23, 2017
Recommended Bet: 3.00pm Kempton – Capitaine to win 11/4 Sky Bet
On Saturday, Kempton Park stage their annual BetBright Handicap Chase meeting, but most eyes will be on the graded novice events on this card, in view of the Cheltenham Festival betting in progress for the big Grade 1 races there next month.
The 3pm Sky Bet Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle, live on ITV Racing, will be a very interesting two mile contest where several quality, experienced novice hurdlers will put their reputations on the line in a bid to justify running in one of the top races at the Cheltenham Festival.
The Nicky Henderson trained River Wylde has looked a quality operator in his last two starts, both at Ludlow, where he showed a good deal of professionalism and potential under Daryl Jacob.
The concern is he didn’t improve on ratings from his penultimate run and he faces a big step up in quality of opposition here. He could be progressive enough, but it remains to be seen.
Alan King’s Elgin is a lovely future prospect for fences down the line and has some very good form in novice hurdles this season. He was left behind by Neon Wolf last time out at Haydock, but a return to a flatter track like this one will suit. He is improving nicely and a threat to all.
So perhaps the Paul Nicholls trained Capitaine can grind this out from the front under Sam Twiston-Davies. A handsome French bred grey, Capitaine has been a model of consistency this season and went down fighting on deep ground at Sandown behind Finian’s Oscar last time out.
He produced an excellent performance before that at Ascot in a Grade 2 hurdle and a repeat of either of his last two efforts will see him go close here.
The addition of a flat track like Kempton on decent ground should be ideal for him and if Twiston-Davies can get the fractions right, the pair should be hard to beat.