The two-times Flat champion jockey runs the rule over Wednesday’s 32Red-sponsored Kempton card, fresh from a double in the saddle in 32Red colours on Saturday afternoon and a brace of winning Breeders’ Cup tips in the evening.
5.25pm Kempton – 32Red Casino Median Auction Maiden
Of those to have raced, none of those in here have shown a level of ability to be frightened of, and you can argue that my filly sets the form standard courtesy of her fourth in a 7f Newmarket maiden last month. I rode Babamunchkin at home before her debut and she is a well-bred filly, being by Henrythenavigator out of a mare who won a 1m1f Listed race in France for the same trainer and owner, and she shaped well when leading for a long way before getting a bit tired in the closing stages first time up, with James (Doyle) easing off once her chance had gone. I would hope and expect that you will see a sharper filly today – if I was being picky I’d like her to settle better going to post, and early in her race, than she did at Newmarket – and the extra furlong shouldn’t be an issue on pedigree. She should go well in what looks a winnable race.
6.25pm Kempton – 32Red/Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden
Unlike the 1m maiden an hour earlier, Hathiq sets a decent form level for the others to aim at here, but of course when you are dealing with once-raced juveniles and newcomers, anything is possible in these kind of races. I rode Delfie Lane on his debut at Windsor back in July and he was always on the back foot after a slow start, and only beat one home. Richard (Hughes) has obviously given him a fair break since then and the horse is related to five winners, so there are reasons to be optimistic, but quite clearly he will have to have improved massively from Windsor to be competitive here.
7.25pm Kempton – 32Red London Middle Distance Final Handicap
This is a valuable prize, so well done to all concerned for staging this 55k final after it had to be re-scheduled after last week’s horrendous accident at the track. It goes without saying but of course, my, and all our thoughts, remain with Freddy. Those who have seen Red Rannagh this season will be fully aware of how tricky he can be, and he is a hard ride. He can blow his chance at the start, and isn’t straightforward, and things didn’t fall right for us again over 1m4f here last time. This is a very competitive race, as you’d expect for the money, but I don’t think that we have seen the best of my colt this season and I certainly think he has the ability to be winning off a mark of 86. Maybe this bigger field and a strongly-run race over 1m3f will see him in a better light, and the first-time hood could well help him a lot, too.
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