The Daily Yankee
NAP OF THE DAY: Lord Napier, (1440 Kempton), 2pts win, 11/2 generally available
The Lanzarote Hurdle throws up the bet of the week. Favourites Kloud Gate and Darling Maltaix both have huge 12lb weight hikes to defy for easy wins in poorer races – that looks tough. Indeed, Darling Maltaix is a whopping 17lbs worse off with Lord Napier for the half length that separated them at Wincanton 6 weeks ago. Lord Napier looked promising as a novice last year, and that Wincanton run and a subsequent staying on 6th to Mohaayed in one of the season’s top handicaps were both at 2m and he looks to be crying out for this step up. His rating has remained unmoved for a defeat almost as creditable as the victories of today’s favourites. Get stuck in !!
Kildorrey, (1410 Fairyhouse), 7/2: Novices are always dangerous in a handicap hence the favourite here Duca De Thaix raised 10lbs for his handicap debut win. That seems to overlook that Kildorrey beat him in October. He would have been weighted to dead heat until Duca’s 10lb hike, so now he looks weighted to win and has Ruby riding for his dad. The enigmatic Blazer, talented but hard to win with, looks the biggest danger.
Calett Mad, (1500 Warwick), 7/1: we’ve been on this dour stayer a couple of times including a heartbreaking defeat over a marathon trip last time. Like most here, he has been well and truly assessed by the handicapper, but he keeps giving the sense of being a late developer. No disrespect to the excellent Daryl Jacob, the regular rider, but the more aggressive riding style of James Bowen here could be a plus in digging out the extra talent that has long promised to surface.
Barney Dwan, (1515 Kempton), 3/1: another one who owes us after a few near misses. Keeps doing just enough to retain interest and a mark of 141 continues to appeal for a horse placed in two Cheltenham festival handicaps off 143. This track could suit, he looked set to win in his only previous run here until a calamitous last fence blunder. The owners’ controversial call to avoid Cheltenham with their string of horses at least means less chance of protecting any marks pre-festival, so expect him to be giving all.
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