I think the handicapper has given THE UNIT a chance today at Warwick and Alan King will be hoping the better ground can bring about some improvement in his charge. A once classy hurdler, a long absence has dented The Unit’s career path but King is sure there is more to come from him still and in this race today he looks to have a great chance off bottom weight. It doesn’t look the strongest of races as a lot of these will almost certainly come on for the run and the top weight and likely favourite will surely struggle to concede so much weight to a horse like The Unit. There is no rain due so the more it dries out, the better his chance.
Warwick 3.53 – The Unit
I’m going to take a punt on the fitness of HOMETOWN BOY in the opener at Kempton on Saturday because if he is fit then he is certainly on a lenient mark. Stuart Edmunds’ horse was a progressive novice hurdler last year and his season culminated in a solid run over course and distance in a competitive EBF final. He was due to run at Chepstow at the start of the season but was a late defection and consequently not seen since. I hope it’s a clue that Edmunds is running him over a track he knows he will excel at for his first run back because he will have to be fit to win here as horses such as Tedham and Gunsight Ridge look to be lurking on dangerous marks.
In the Skybet Dovecote I have quite a strong fancy on CALICO. Dan Skelton’s horse impressed me greatly at Ludlow when he not only won cosily but jumped so well for a horse having his first start in this country. He beat a few solid yardsticks that day and with normal improvement to come I would expect him to put in a better performance again this time. The sharp track will suit him well as he has bags of speed and I’m hoping he will have too much for horses such as Atholl Street. Granted, Paul Nicholls’ favourite has won two races around Taunton, perhaps one of the sharpest tracks in the country, but I will be surprised if any Trevor Hemmings owned horse will have enough boot to win a Grade 2 novice hurdle around Kempton.
Kempton 1.15 – Hometown Boy
Kempton 3.00 – Calico