Saturday Racing Tips: Legend can rise back to form at beloved track

Tony's main fancy is at Kempton on Saturday afternoon
Tony's main fancy is at Kempton on Saturday afternoon

The Channel 4 cameras will be at Chepstow, Kempton, Lingfield and Newcastle on a bumper day of racing on Saturday afternoon, and our big-price tipster Tony Calvin is at the last three named of those courses for his recommended bets...

"He is now only 2lb higher than when beating Bury Parade in this race last year and he has also gone well when fresh in the past, including when winning by 10 lengths in the soft at Fontwell first time up last season."

Back Bally Legend @ 26.025/1 in the 15:45 at Kempton

Bally Legend looks to have a lot more going for him than odds of 20-1+ imply in Kempton's Betbright Chase at 15:45.

His three runs this season would admittedly give him next to no chance - he ran woefully when last seen out at Newbury in November - but that is why we are getting the price today. There is always a trade-off in betting, somewhere along the line.

It is interesting that trainer Caroline Keevil backed off him after Newbury and that he now comes to his favourite track as a fresh horse and with the stable now hitting a bit of welcome form, with two winners in the last nine days from only six runners.

And there is little doubt that Bally Legend returns to his favourite stomping ground - his form figures at Kempton read 212421 - on a fair mark, having dropped to 140.

He is now only 2lb higher than when beating Bury Parade in this race last year and he has also gone well when fresh in the past, including when winning by 10 lengths in the soft at Fontwell first time up last season.

An attempt at a repeat win in this race looks to have been on the cards for a while, and he rates a fair bet at odds of 26.025/1.

There are plenty of others in here with a shout at a double-figure price - Lost Legend and Renard are interesting, and Rocky Creek reportedly carries a bit of stable confidence - but I'll just go in one-handed.

The only other horse on the Kempton card that I am going to throw a couple of quid at is Primogeniture in the Adonis at 14:00. I suggest you do likewise, too.

Normally, I never back unraced horses - flat or jumps - but I will make an exception for Dan Skelton's hurdling newcomer, as he has fair staying form on the Flat in Ireland and I think it is fair to assume that he has been aimed at this race for some time.

Why? Well, the Adonis is a race that Paul Nicholls likes to win, and has done three times in recent years.

And one of that trio was Zarkandar, and Skelton was obviously at Ditcheat (and so was Harry Fry, who won this race with Activial last year) when that ex-French Flat horse won on his hurdling debut in this race before going on to win the Triumph three weeks later.

I am not saying that Skelton has a Cheltenham winner on his hands - and it is interesting to see that this horse's form in Ireland was on good or faster ground - but they paid 90,000 gns for him in October (a fair sum for the yard) and the in-form trainer, fresh from Blue Heron's win in the Kingwell last week, knows how to ready one alright.

His attention to detail, and his drive, was evident in a live broadcast on Channel 4's Morning Line recently and Primogeniture is worth a speculative punt at 11.010/1 or bigger, getting weight from the winners in the race.

I'd be against Sire De Grugy off top weight in soft ground at Chepstow at 15:35 - I can't believe they will bottom the horse at that gruelling track with Cheltenham less than three weeks away - but for my only other NH bet on the day I am going to Newcastle and Herdsman at odds of 19.5 in the Eider Case at 14:55.

It was interesting that his former trainer Sue Smith immediately namechecked this race for the horse after he beat dual subsequent winner Everaard at Catterick last February, but he went to the Cheltenham Festival instead of Newcastle.

New trainer Brian Ellison, known to have improved a horse or 20 from other yards, has presumably had the same thought too and he tuned up for this race with his best run for him yet when a neck second to Scotswell over 3m4f at Catterick last time, when racing in cheekpieces for the first time.

He has paid for that with a 4lb rise in the weights, but he did pull eight lengths clear of the third, so I think that is more than fair, especially as the handicapper had dropped him a generous 6lb for his first two starts of the season. This extreme test of stamina promises to suit, and the cheekpieces stay on.

The all-weather returns to C4 at Lingfield and there are two quality £45k races on the channel.

Cloudscape would be my idea of the winner of the 15:25, with his stable already in very good form this year, but it is a tight race and odds of around 7-2 don't strike me as overly-generous. I wouldn't put anyone off backing him though, as he was a progressive horse last summer and first-time blinkers are interesting.

The 6f handicap is tricky too, but I think Foxtrot Romeo could be worth chancing on his Lingfield debut at odds of 7.06/1 in the 13:45.

He lost his away for a long time after finishing second in the Irish 2,000 Guineas for Bryan Smart in 2012 but Marco Botti got gradual improvement out of him last season and he was particularly impressive when winning at Wolverhampton in a fast time last time out.

The blinkers that he wore for the first time in a long while at Wolverhampton are kept on here, and I think a mark of 102 could still underplay his talent a fair bit and he has decent claims in this listed race.

The lack of Lingfield form is a worry against a host of proven course performers but his stable has been going well in 2015 and he will hopefully be straight enough for a valuable race such as this. Given the nagging fitness doubts though, I'll be keeping stakes low on this one.

Recommended Bets

Back Bally Legend @ 26.025/1 in the 15:45 at Kempton
Back Primogeniture @ 11.010/1 in the 14:00 at Kempton
Back Herdsman @ 19.5 in 14:55 at Newcastle
Back Foxtrot Romeo @ 7.06/1 in the 13:45 at Lingfield

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