Timeform's Matt Gardner heads to Kempton for Wednesday's crack at the Placepot...
"The drop to seven furlongs last time didn't look an obvious move but Haywain improved for it, actually shaping as if sprinting may be his game, and he is certainly worth a go at the six furlongs faced tonight..."
17:30 - We get underway with a competitive handicap over a mile and a quarter but, for now at least, there are eight set to go to post which gives us three places to aim at. The first one we want on side is Noguchi who has been in top form of late, including at this venue the last twice, and makes plenty of appeal with the talented apprentice Robert Tart now taking over in the saddle and it is also worth sticking in Hilali, who has scored twice over hurdles since last being seen on the level and ought to be suited by this distance judged upon a couple of efforts earlier in his career.
18:00 - A non-runner in this leg has reduced this field to seven, which is annoying, but we will stick to our guns and bank on the thrice-raced Desert Donkey, who has made steady progress in maidens and looks to have been granted a lenient opening handicap mark.
18:30 - Sandstormers entrant Haywain has taken a while to get his act together but has done better since being fitted with blinkers on his two most recent starts; the drop to seven furlongs last time didn't look an obvious move but he improved for it, actually shaping as if sprinting may be his game, and he is certainly worth a go at the six furlongs faced tonight. Dishy Guru, who shaped as if in need of the run on return from a break last time in a race that has thrown up three subsequent winners, looks to be flying under the radar in the market at present but he is very well handicapped and can provide us with a spot of insurance here.
19:00 - Flamborough Breeze is bidding to land a C&D hat-trick and is likely to be an obvious banker for many, however the best play may be to oppose her with one who seems just as likely to make the places in the hope that the favourite misses out. The one selected is Pastoral Jet, a five-year-old who is pretty consistent and managed to produce his best effort yet when narrowly denied over C&D last month.
19:30 - We could realistically select bankers in the final two legs but we haven't burnt all that many lines up to this point so we're going to take two in each. Tanawar and Spring Tonic make the cut here, the former a steadily progressive William Haggas-trained three-year-old and the latter a four-year-old who was bought out of Luca Cumani's yard by his new connections, has been gelded since last seen and boasts a decent piece of form at this venue in September.
20:00 - Gabrial's Wawa sets the standard but that level is not insurmountable so we will take him on with both Red To Amber and Vastly. The first mentioned could prove to be a different proposition with his debut experience, where he was too green to do himself justice, under his belt and he seems sure to go close, but it is also worth taking a bit of a flyer on Vastly, who boasts a taking middle-distance pedigree with the high-class Await The Dawn among his siblings and he is of interest despite being sold for just 8,000 gns last year and making a relatively late start to his career.
17:30 - 3, 4
18:00 - 5
18:30 - 8, 11
19:00 - 13
19:30 - 2, 8
20:00 - 1, 6
= 16 lines