Thursday 6pm Good afternoons sport with Livelovelaugh looking good in the 2m4f novice at Thurles (Mullins said, “He was lucky to win by as far as he did but he jumps well and stays galloping. He’ll come back here for the Michael Purcell Memorial (on February 23).”). Don’t Touch It looks a handicap possibility over fences winning the beginners chase. (Harrington’s daughter Kate said, “That was great to get that out of the way and he was entitled to do that. Mum will have a chat with Frank “Tightlips” (Berry) and J.P. (McManus) and decide where to go next. Spring is always his season and he did everything that was asked of him, so hopefully it’s onwards and upwards.”). Petticoat Tails made hard work of winning her second bumper, this time under a penalty. (An end-of-season trip to Punchestown could be on the agenda for Petticoat Tails after she maintained her unbeaten record to give Greatrex and Sheehan further success with a two-and-a-quarter-length victory in division one of the bumper. Greatrex said of the 8-13 favourite: “She is good, there is no doubt about that. During the race Gavin said he had to stoke her along but she was just playing and he said they could have gone round again. I might go to Punchestown as I think it is made for her. I am not keen on Aintree and the ground at Sandown can be horrible, so why not give her a long break and go for the race that The Nipper ran out in last year.”)
Friday Lucky 15
Might want to play this one each way! Gone to Kempton as Bangor looked prone to the weather!
Kempton 1.40 KEATING 9/1 PP and WH
Kempton 3.10 VYTA DU ROC 3/1 WH 11/4 general
Kempton 3.45 TUDORS TREASURE 12/1 general
Kempton 4.15 MOTUEKA 20/1 Coral 16/1 general
and here’s why
Kempton Going Good to Soft, Soft in Places WEATHER Thursday – Very cold day; max temp +3. Friday – Cold easterly wind; min -2 and max +4.
FROST COVERS WERE DEPLOYED ON ALL RUNNING LINES AND BY-PASS AREAS ON TUESDAY.
Kempton 1.40 KEATING He was too keen on hurdling debut, then an excellent third to Dashing Oscar and went into the notebook as “wait for handicaps” and on his third run was well beaten on ground too soft for him. Kempton will be fine and Ceiran Gethings can claim 3lbs even in this Conditionals handicap. Philip Hobbs likes this type of race as you don’t pick up a penalty for winning. Wide open race but Keating has plenty of scope.
Kempton 3.10 VYTA DU ROC This is easy. He is the best horse in the race. Fifth in the Scottish National, sixth in the Hennessey and beat Minella Rocco in the Reynoldstown as a novice! This is Class 3, three miles around trainer Nicky Henderson’s favourite course. I think even Daryl Jacob can get this one home!
Kempton 3.45 TUDORS TREASURE Hasn’t run since June but last time out showed his first glimmer of ability when a running on second ridden by Tom O’Brien and he retains the ride. This will be only Tudor Treasure’s fifth run over hurdles and more improvement could be expected and if it’s decent ground he wants, well in February Kempton is probably his best chance. I like the trainer, Robert Stephens, does well with what he has. He had Modus before JP bought him and in my opinion given the quality he could follow the likes of Skelton, Pauling, Mulholland etc.
Kempton 4.15 MOTUEKA Really well punted on debut and he was sent off 7/4F at Chepstow and did well to finish fourth as he was as green as grass, hung all over the place and pretty clueless but clearly has ability and this gelded son of Kings Theatre cost the Whateleys 48K euros as a foal! Keep him in your tracker. OMG Mark Pitman has a runner with Adrian Heskin booked and Henderson has an Irish point winner, whilst Richard Johnson rides the other Hobbs entry Springtown Lake who cost 95K euros also from the Irish PtP field.
Thursday Lucky 15
One nice priced winner, drifted from 3/1 to SP 9/2. Just shows the value of Best Odds Guaranteed and treble the odds one winner on a Lucky 15. £15 staked, four selections, three losers and you lose only 50p!!
Huntingdon 1.45 GO WEST YOUNG MAN 4th 6/1
Held up, ridden patiently. Never got competitive. May have a few ideas of his own about the game.
Huntingdon 2.20 KEEPER HILL 1st 9/2
Racing UK (@Racing_UK) February 9, 2017 Greatrex said: “He’s still very raw and he has lots of talent. When he was jumping left down the back, he was basically jumping into space. Gavin kept him up there with Jamie (Moore, on Benatar) to make it a true test. When his head was down he came alive and I thought if he jumped the last he was always going to get there. He’s got so much talent, I don’t think we’ve got to the bottom of him yet. We’ll have to have a look at Cheltenham. Gavin feels that in a better race and going at a faster pace will suit him, as he’s got such a high cruising speed. Basically he did everything wrong but still won. Two out was bad enough and he never lifted a leg. The second horse has given us weight, but I think he’s better than the winning distance.”
Owner Max McNeill would dearly love a first winner at the big meeting next month, but said: “As I’ve been in the game a bit longer, I don’t want to run young horses there if they are not ready or have not got a chance. I definitely want a Cheltenham Festival winner, but I don’t want to force the issue with a young horse. On what Gavin Sheehan said afterwards and what Warren is intimating now, then Aintree over two and a half miles on a flat track might be the better option.”
Lambourn handler Greatrex said of Keeper Hill: “He’s got so much talent, I don’t think we’ve got to the bottom of him yet. I think Aintree might be better for him. I’m not totally convinced he is a Cheltenham horse this year and if things went wrong at Cheltenham you could ruin him in one fell swoop. He travels well and Aintree could be right up his street, while it would give him a bit longer to get over this.”
Alan King, trainer of runner-up Messire Des Obeaux, added: “He lost nothing in defeat and the Neptune remains the plan. This was just a prep and this wasn’t his track.”
Huntingdon 2.50 GIBRALFARO 6th 9/2
Disappointing. Lacks the size perhaps to be really good. Beaten three out!
Huntingdon 3.20 TROJAN STAR PU 11/2
There was strong market support for him but totally unjustified! Going backwards from halfway and didn’t even beat the ambulance home!