Friday, February 23, 2018

Kempton's Betdaq Handicap Chase

Fifteen have been declared for tomorrow's Betdaq Handicap Chase (3.35 Kempton); on a cursory glance my eye is drawn to those nearer the top of the weights.

Acting Lass from Harry Fry's stable heads the market and is unbeaten over fences but his price looks short enough against some of these battle-hardened opponents; this is his first try beyond two miles five and a half furlongs.

Master Dee is the epitome of consistency having finished in the first three on each of his eleven chase starts to date. He has been away from the track for a while but that's not considered a negative and Fergal O'Brien's horses have shown better form in recent weeks.

Paul Nicholls saddles three - Tintern Theatre, Art Mauresque and As De Mee. On jockey bookings, previous course and distance winner Tintern Theatre would appear to hold the best chance but he comes with niggling doubts in the jumping department.

I've had a closer look at Art Mauresque who will appreciate slightly better ground than we've had during the winter months. His second behind Waiting Patiently here last month reads well but the three mile trip is an unknown.

No such doubts surround Go Conquer who was particularly impressive winning the Sodexo Gold Cup at Ascot in November. Next time at the same track he made a bad error and nearly fell and then, with his chance gone, unseated Aidan Coleman three out. The worry is one mistake and the jumping could fall to pieces...

Loose Chips and Theatre Guide may be two old-timers but both can boast decent form at this track - Theatre Guide won the 2016 renewal of this race, finished third last year and tries this time off a one pound lower mark. Nacarat (aged 11 in 2012) is the only horse older than nine to have come home in front in the past decade.

I tipped Label Des Obeaux for the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury but his chance went with the standing start. He was better next time, under nine lengths behind Wakanda in the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster. Alan King indicates in the Weekender this race is a warm-up for his spring target, the Scottish Grand National.

Relentless Dreamer was noted making headway in the Edinburgh National three weeks ago; he finished third that day - both the shorter trip and better ground here are likely to help the cause.

Owned by Robert Waley-Cohen and ridden by son Sam, the mare Theatre Territory has been running well for Warren Greatrex without winning - connections fit cheekpieces for the first time.

Art Mauresque is intriguing but Betfair's place terms are one fifth the odds four places so I'll take a small each-way interest in Go Conquer at 10/1, hoping the jumping issues seen last time were merely a temporary blip...

And, briefly, a couple of other runners noted on the same card.

In the Adonis (2.25): Guillaume Macaire brings over Beau Gosse from France; Malaya is clear of rivals on RPR ratings; Kasperenko, rated 94 on the Flat, makes his hurdling debut.

In the Dovecote (3.00): Carntop, rated 100 on the Flat, is another to make his hurdling debut. He was owned by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall until 1st February 2018; the gelding is now owned by the Duchess of Cornwall & Chips Keswick. Make of that whatever you will...

Correction added 23.02.18 @ 23:20
Tintern Theatre is trained by Nigel-Twiston-Davies and not Paul Nicholls as stated above. Sam Twiston-Davies rides for his father tomorrow, not Paul Nicholls. Apologies. PG.


Anonymous said...

Excellent write-up. I’ve only got 5lbs between the top and bottom rated [the RP has 6lbs] so a competitive affair.

I see question marks against those horses currently trading at single figure odds:

Whilst the obvious improver in the race I agree that Acting Lass price looks short, he has yet to record a decent speed rating, is up in trip and my trainer ratings such Harry Fry just might not be firing on all cylinders.

Tintern Theatre is another who has yet to clock a decent speed rating and he’s only manged to complete in 50% of his chase races.

Master Dee has not been able to get his head in front since having a 140+ mark suggest that might be his limit and he’s not previously won after an absence of 100 days+.

Theatre Territory is up 4lbs despite winning and may not appreciate the drying ground.

I can see it is easy to forgive Go Conquer his last race my worry would be that 150 looks to be his ceiling.

I like Loose Chips chance but as a 12yo just think he’ll find a few too good.

So, after that preamble, my money is going on your Hennessy selection Label Des Obeaux (20/1 5 places Skybet) in the hope he can take this on route to the Scottish National. Alan King says he might still be a bit high in the ratings but he’s now only 1lb above his last winning mark, conditions should suit, Wayne Hutchinson is in the saddle and he’s not been out of the frame when running right handed.

Good luck


GeeDee said...

That looks a very good play, TW, especially with Sky Bet paying five places and the stat you've quoted on his form at right-handed tracks.

I'll watch with interest. Good luck!

GeeDee said...

A reasonable effort from selection Go Conquer (16/1) who jumped well up front. He finally gave way to his pursuers off the home turn on the final circuit but remained competitive, eventually finishing fifth, beaten ten and a half lengths.

The race went to ultra-consistent Master Dee (8/1) with Barry Geraghty driving past Ballykan (14/1) at the last. Another solid effort from the mare Theatre Territory (10/1) saw her claim third while Art Mauresque (10/1) didn't appear to last home, fading into fourth after going to the front three out.

I expected a bit more from Label Des Obeaux (14/1). Held up, he never really managed to get involved and make up his ground; he came home in eighth.

GeeDee said...

Update added 04.04.18.

Arsenal chairman Sir Chips Keswick has a few with Jamie Snowden including Kalahari Queen, Present View, Thebannerkingrebel (pulled up inside the final furlong behind Relegate in the Festival bumper) and Double Treasure, considered a 33/1 chance for the Topham Chase at Aintree on Friday 13th April.