By Tony Calvin
There is an excellent Listed race at Kempton on Monday – indeed it is a cracking card as a whole and it has enticed me to go.
With seven of the eight-strong field rated 100 or higher, I was tempted to give Dylan Mouth a chance at 5-1 after a very poor run at Newbury last time.
I decided, however, to file it in the “too trappy” drawer and moved on to the £70,000 32Red London Middle Distance Series Final, which is no easier I know, but in which I think Desert Ruler is over-priced at a general 14/1 in the 1m2f219yd contest at 3.20pm.
The four-year-old has not won since September 2015, has crept up the handicap for his unerring consistency this season and was laughed at by Ply over course and distance last time.
But he is 9lb better off for the three lengths that he was beaten by the hugely progressive winner, and I do not think that is factored into the prices.
And do not underestimate what a good run that was from the selection, who had the rest beaten off by two lengths and more there.
He went up 3lb himself to a mark of 76 but he was rated 86 after winning his nursery two years ago and I think he rates a fair punt at the prices in what is admittedly a hugely competitive race, as you would expect.
Bint Dandy could be ready to return to winning form in the earlier handicap over a mile at 2.20pm.
She has put up some of her best performances when forcing the pace, and there are a couple of potential rivals for the lead here, as well as a draw in seven being far from ideal.
But she does not have to lead and if 7lb claimer Nicola Currie (who I have a lot of time for) can get her settled near the pace, then she will be fine.
The mare shows her best form in small fields, and the return to the All-Weather will suit after a fair run at Newmarket last time.
She is 3lb higher in this sphere but that is more than justified, as her best efforts have come at Lingfield and Chelmsford.
And she has been dropped 3lb since her last start at Chelmsford and one of her two starts here saw her finish an excellent second to Absolute Blast (who is 13lb higher now) over course and distance in January.
I also like the blinkers replacing cheekpieces again, as her best efforts have come with that headgear applied.
She has a fair bit going for her and was a decent price at last night's 16-1 and you can still get 12s now.
I am also going to give Presumido a chance, at a general 10-1, in the 7f handicap at 4.20pm.
First the negatives, and the main one is that he has beaten only two of 22 rivals on his last two starts over 1m here but he has been drawn wide on both occasions and at least he has been dropped 4lb for those efforts.
He is a four-times course winner, with one of those successes coming over this trip, and I can see this hold-up performer finishing to good effect from stall six from an attractive mark of just 76.
He was rated 11lb higher at the start of the year, and I think he is weighted to bounce back to his best. Well, I will take my chances at the price, anyway.
I am happy to leave the jumps alone today, and I was also going to stop at just the three Kempton plays, but then I saw Jameerah was priced up at the general 33-1 in the 6f handicap at 3.50pm (Skybet are offering four places at 28-1 if you are an each-way player).
Again, the form of the Bryan Smart stable is not ideal – only two winners from 65 runners since August – and the horse has only raced twice this year and been withdrawn on a couple of occasions.
So all has not gone smoothly, and her draw in nine could obviously have been better.
But those starts were on turf and there is little doubt that the filly’s best runs have come on the All-Weather and she is fairly handicapped on just a 4lb higher mark than when winning at Chelmsford last October, when trained by James Tate.
Indeed, her form figures over 6f on an all-weather surface read 2111 (the second was over course and distance, her only start at this track).
At the price, I will be having a small bet on her. Feel free to join me.
Tony Calvin's Monday bets: (Prices correct at 9.30am)
2.20 Kempton: Bint Dandy at general 12-1
4.20 Kempton: Presumido at a general 10-1