2.05 Kempton – Activial
The Adonis Juvenille Hurdle is a superb prep run for horses looking to compete in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham and was won by Zarkandar in 2011 before he went onto win st the Festival. Activial who has the same owners as Zarkandar can certainly repeat success
The Harry Fry trained horse looks a very genuine horse to me. Winning a bumper in France, Activial had a superb debut over obsticles, finishing three and a half lengths behind Paul Nicholls’ Calpilto. Calpilto is no better than 8/1 for the Triumph whereas Activial is top priced 33/1.
With only it’s first run over hurdles, Activial is bound to have improved leaps and bounds since November. He just looked a little bit short of fitness however Fry would have soon set that right.
Harry Fry boats a strike rate of 46% of horses finishing inside the top two this year. Activial can certainly win this. If you do back, it’s worth having an ante-post niggle too.
3.50 Kempton – Ardkilly Witness & Niceonefrankie (each way)
Ardkilly Witness relishes the mud and at Kempton we will certainly be having soft to heavy ground. His trainer Dr Richard Newland is a master of picking the right race for his yard.Ardkilly Witness will only be carrying 10-10 and should easily get the trip. Finishing in the top two last time on heavy ground, he’s only been raised 3lbs since.
Venita Williams is in fine form at this moment. Her horses thrive off heavy ground. However Niceonefrankie is yet to race on the going. His price is massive for a horse who stuffed Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Double Ross earlier in the season.
4.25 Kempton – Royal Player
The Phillip Hobbs horse has looked classy in its two wins so far this season. They were both comfortable wins, especially his last outing. Royal Player jumped very tidy throughout, meeting fences whilst running and quickened well when asked to do so. Finally, the ground was soft-heavy in places which is plays right into his hands. I think punters will look to back the Henderson/ McCoy team of Full Shift, however he hated the ground being soft last time and I don’t see what will change here.
2.55 Newcastle – Relax
We didn’t see the Eider Handicap last year due to the weather. However the four mile race is back and Venita Williams can make headlines on a Saturday again. Again, we have heavy ground which her horse Relax loves, having never fallen out of the top two when running on heavy going. At 11-6, Venita is making a very sensible move in sending Callum Whillans to ride, who gets a seven pound claim.
4.30 Newcastle – Be My Deputy
It was the first time in his here that Be My Deputy got soft ground. He clearly loved it as he finished three parts of a length behind the winner, whilst conceding a lot of weight. Lucinda Russell’s horses have too done well at Newcastle this year, as she has recorded six winners at the track thus far
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