Three Monday bets
Classic King underestimated for Wincanton romp
Danny Kirwin can dictate the Veteran's race at Kempton
Emma Lavelle's Classic King - 4/15.00 on the Betfair Sportsbook - impressed with his finishing effort at Wincanton and clocked a very useful three-out-to-finish time figure compared to the handicap winner on the card, Inca De Lafayette, who is rated 117 and won a deep 0-120 race.
That was an improved effort on all known form, and considering the ten-length second only found the useful Willmount too good on his next outing, it's wise to look positively on that run. At the same time, Classic King was better than the bare result, having been hampered a couple of times by the runner-up, so it's wise to rate that performance between 110 and 120.
With improvement to come with that debut hurdle run under his belt and now race fit, he will take some beating if running to that rating in this contest. His previous form at Wincanton when chasing home Meatloaf - who made a winning seasonal/hurdle debut at the same venue at the weekend - also concurs with the above rating, while his rivals today are yet to reach such a mark.
Queens Gamble was useful in bumpers, but there wouldn't have been too many positives to take from her hurdle debut at Warwick in the jumping department, and against the boys, she might get found out.
Bhaloo is interesting for Nicky Henderson, having formerly been with Fergal O'Brien, but he might lack the pace for this and will be seen to have a better effect over time.
Back the selection @ 5/23.50 or bigger.
Danny Kirwin - 5/23.50 on the Betfair Sportsbook - shaped with a good deal of promise on his seasonal return at Chepstow in a far deeper race than this before his stamina gave out over three miles. He caught the eye from a long way out there but folded up like an old deck chair after making his challenge in the home straight, and Harry Cobden gave him an easy time of things.
That run suggested he needed the fitness, so better is expected today in a weaker race and dropping back to his optimum distance of 2m4f for the first time since scoring at Ascot last March. His record at around today's distance when going his favoured right-handed reads 15141716221, and over trips short of 3m coupled with good ground, they read 11121.
He has optimal conditions, returning to a venue that has seen him to good effect previously, and there's a good chance he can dictate matters on the sharp end of the pace.
He may well have been targeted at this prize, and this race, although advertised as a 0-150, is effectively a 0-130 - the lowest grade of race he has contested in his chase career, so it's an excellent placing.
Deyrann De Carjac rates the chief threat with similar claims. Although his jumping is a cause for concern, he is well-treated on the balance. Similar comments apply to Hatcher.
Back the selection at 5/23.50 or bigger. No shorter.
Petticoat Lucy - currently 2/13.00 on the Betfair Sportsbook - looks about as short as she can get in the market, so the advice is to back her at BSP.
She sets a good standard in her two chase starts, with the Newton Abbott round scoring high on my speed figures.
She could easily be three for three over the larger obstacles, but for her fall, four out in a Point-to-point, in which the smart West Balboa finished second.
She made a seamless start to the season with a good victory against the boys on seasonal return at Exeter, showing a bright turn of foot to pick up the runner-up who dictated the race from the off. She won that with any amount in hand, so a six-pound rise should be fine, and she can take advantage of those with lesser experience in the field now up in grade.
This looks like a good spot for her to rack up the hat trick, and she should be the quicker horse in this field to turn away La Renommee and Notnowlinda.
Back her at 9/43.25 or bigger, but hold out for the BSP.