Four To Follow: Last Chance Saloon

With three weeks to go until the Cheltenham Festival, some are running out of time to find an appropriate prep race. But Kempton could provide a last chance with three Grade Two races and a big-money handicap too. Plus, we look ahead to the Grand National with the Eider Chase and the Winter Derby moves up to Southwell from Lingfield, to complete this week’s Four To Follow.



Patron Pay Day

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2:27 – Pendil Novice’s Chase (Grade Two) – Le Patron @ 9/2 (William Hill)

The Scilly Isles’ was his first no-show of the season, but it’s clear that he wasn’t suited by the front-running tactics of Nickle Back. Because of that, his jumping display was quite poor. With no identified pace in the field, it should be back to normal for Le Patron, who is a two-time winner at this level and will feel at home going right-handed at Kempton. Even with a five-pound penalty, he’s still the best rated horse and should be taken seriously.


The Wizard Of Odds

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3:37 – Coral Trophy Handicap Chase (Premier) – Blackjack Magic @ 13/2 (Boylesports)

There’s a key bit of form for this race which comes from November. The Ascot Silver Cup’s top four horses have all won since. Two feature in this race today, including Blackjack Magic. He hasn’t set the world alight since winning the Badger Beers at Wincanton, but he’s handicapped back to a nice mark of 138. This was the same mark he was back in November, when making a mistake at the last when running a cracker. He as every chance of running another again.

Unanswered Prayers doesn’t look the most attractive on recent form. A fall and an unseat, bookended by two fifths don’t’ make it for good reading. However, he ran a big race when battling for second at the last fence with Grand National Trial winner Yeah Man. His form for the next race at Ascot also holds up too. He’s off the same mark for the Sodexo Gold Cup and can run a massive race at a massive price, 25/1 (BetVictor, Boylesports).



Duck For Cover

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2:08 – Eider Handicap Chase – Fenland Tiger @ 6/1 (BetVictor, Betfred)

Fun fact: and Eider is a duck. But today is about the Tiger. Everyone may be looking towards Anglers Crag, but the handicapper has had a field day raising him a massive 11lbs after a hattrick of wins. That will be hard to overcome, when he’s stepping up in class too.

Fenland Tiger can take advantage of that massive rise in the weights, and the heavy ground up at Gosforth Park. He’s likes extreme distances, winning over three-and-a-quarter miles at Doncaster at the start of the year. He faces another rise of seven pounds, but with the ground as it is he has to be favoured a little too big of a price.

Tommie Beau is another who can take advantage of the boggy conditions. He’s won two ‘Nationals’ already (Durham and Southern) and second in the Sussex National too. Heavy ground + extreme distance suits him to a tee and the mark he’s been given won’t trouble him. Nice even price at 8/1 (General).

One rain lover at a bigger price is Rath An Iuir. Despite making a big jump from class four to class two, he ran in last year’s Eider and is on a three-pound lower mark this time around. Heavy ground helped him in his win at Kelso over the Festive period and sneaks in at the bottom end of the weights. Each-way claims at 12/1 (General).



A Last Hurrah?

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3:20 – BetUK Winter Derby Stakes (Group Three) – Lord North @ 13/8 (General)

Lord North has been a world class horse, but we haven’t seen him since he won the Dubai Turf at the World Cup Festival last year. It’s clear that John & Thady Gosden want him to come here, before one last big international plunder. He’s 11lbs clear of the rest on level weights, and it makes little to no sense why he’s odds-against.

The very best of luck!

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