The ITV cameras will be at Kempton for the all-weather action on Saturday and Racing Post tipster Graeme Rodway returns with his best bets at the track.
Tyrrhenian Sea @ 6/1
My Mate Ted @ 12/1
Sleeping Lion @ 12/1
The Magnolia Stakes (2.05) is one of the feature races and prolific winner Secret State will be a warm order. However, he was below par on his last run at Ascot, a track that he likes, and he returns from a long time off with a bit to prove for a horse who is trading at short prices.
The better bet might be Tyrrhenian Sea, who is lightly raced having run just 10 times at the age of five and all of his best form has come on the all-weather. This might be his big target.
Tyrrhenian Sea showed improved form when second in the Winter Derby at Lingfield last time. He was no match for winner Lord North, but that rival went on to land a Group 1 in Dubai last weekend and the selection was having his first run in 133 days, so should improve.
That was also only his third run at this 1m2f trip and he is unexposed at the distance, which gives further hope he can find the improvement required. He might prove the value option.
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The London Mile Series Qualifier (2.40) is an open race and it’s worth taking a chance on My Mate Ted, who recorded a career-best Racing Post Rating over course and distance last year.
Trainer Roger Teal gave the switch to an all-weather surface as the reason for My Mate Ted’s improvement that day, yet he has run three of his four subsequent races on good or soft turf.
My Mate Ted’s last run at this course came in September when he finished eighth in the final of this series. While he beat only six of his 13 rivals home, he finished only three and a quarter lengths behind the winner and recorded an RPR just 3lb lower than his best.
He is only 3lb higher than for his last win, has been gelded since his last start, and it’s interesting he returns from a winter hiatus at this track where he goes so well. Maybe that should be taken as a hint that he will be ready to go after the break and he is a big price too.
Aztec Empire is the big potential improver in the Queen’s Prize (3.15), but he is a short price to win a much stronger race than he has ever contested and is opposable with Sleeping Lion.
The eight-year-old just falls short of Group class, but is well capable of carrying big weights to victory in handicaps and he showed that by winning this race back in 2021 under 9st 8lb.
If he is going to win a race this season it’s probably going to be this one because he doesn’t stand much racing, and Harry and Roger Charlton will have him spot on after 52 days off.
This is also his track. His last two wins have come over course and distance and he has three wins, a second and third from seven outings here. This race will clearly have been the target.
The only worry here is a potential lack of pace, but that will be factored into his price and it’s worth taking a chance on him returning to form at his favourite track under Daniel Muscutt.
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