There are a couple of lucrative prizes on offer at Kempton on Saturday and Robbie Wilders from the Racing Post shares four selections across two big-field handicaps.
Outlaw Peter @ 5/1
Scarface @ 9/1
Rouge Vif 10/1
Galahad Quest 6/1
I’m a sucker for an unexposed horse in a handicap and two second-season novices catch the eye in the 2m5f handicap hurdle (2.05) at Kempton. They are OUTLAW PETER and SCARFACE.
It would usually be a red flag that both pulled up over this course and distance two months ago in the Lanzarote Hurdle, but that race found out many a fine prospect.
Of the 20 runners to line up in the soft-ground Lanzarote, 14 were pulled up and only four finished. It was a grueller and many of those to have run since have performed with credit, including my two selections.
Outlaw Peter has since finished runner-up and first in a couple of novice hurdles under a double penalty and cruised into contention when well backed in the Lanzarote, simply failing to get home under a pace that was too hot.
He could rate a fair bit higher than a mark of 130 for the Paul Nicholls stable which enjoyed a fine time at the Cheltenham Festival in the second part of the meeting.
Admittedly Scarface showed a little less zest than Outlaw Peter did in the Lanzarote, but he put that below-par effort behind him with a decent fourth in a Grade 2 novice hurdle at Haydock under a 3lb penalty.
I’m not completely convinced he stayed the three-mile trip that day, and dropping back to this intermediate distance on a good to soft surface looks the right way to go for a horse who was thrown into last season’s Ballymore despite only being a five-year-old.
A mark of 126 could also underestimate him.
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There are loads of old faces in the following extended 2m4f handicap chase (2.40) and Mister Fisher is interesting following wind surgery given his form figures of 111 at Kempton outside of Graded company.
You only need to go back about a year to when he was rated in the 160s and he is feared if able to bounce back.
However, I’ve fallen for him before and ROUGE VIF and GALAHAD QUEST are my plays.
Rouge Vif is clearly primed to strike as he was pencilled in for the Grand Annual at Cheltenham earlier this week but failed to make the cut for that.
While he is yet to convince over two and a half miles, Kempton is the track to try it and on a fairly quick surface, he is too well handicapped to ignore for Harry Whittington.
Galahad Quest is thriving and might be able to follow his runaway Warwick success last time on conditions he appreciates.
A seven-year-old who seems like he has been around forever having contested many top-class handicap chases, Galahad Quest relished the first-time cheekpieces at Warwick and the aid is retained as he bids to defy a 7lb higher mark.
He looked generously handicapped off 127 before Warwick and still possesses scope for more off 134.