Richard Hoiles' tips: Harlequin can create a Storm at Kempton

By Richard Hoiles@RichardHoiles
Tue 24 Oct 2017

Racing UK commentator and presenter Richard Hoiles had a 7-1 winner in last week's column and has three horses to side with across Tuesday's cards.

With softening ground and the prospect of gale force winds there was every chance QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot could have turned into a damp squib.

Instead it again confounded the doubters to throw up a terrific afternoon’s action, culminating in a ‘coming of age’ demolition in the Champion Stakes by Cracksman. It was made all the more appealing by the knowledge he will be back in action next season.

Add in Enable, Harry Angel and Barney Roy and one of the best aspects of this Flat campaign has been that its stars are not being packed prematurely off to stud.

A mountain of early season jumps races still to view mean that personally I have trodden carefully with the jumpers this season, but I am going to dip my toe in the water today.

2.20 Exeter – Theatre Stage:

The five-year-old quickly moved into handicaps after placing in two novice hurdles and there was sufficient promise at Ffos Las on May to warrant support here, especially dropping back to 2m.

The main query will be fitness, but he travelled up well at the Welsh track only for his effort to peter out in the home straight.

That suggested the mark will not prove beyond him, whilst Amour De Nuit, who beat him comprehensively at Newton Abbot, won a Listed race at Kempton on Sunday and so the handicapper may have taken a chance in dropping him 2lb on only his fourth career start.

7.15 Kempton – Conflagration:

This Ed Dunlop juvenile hardly set the world alight on debut eight days ago, especially given the fact he attracted significant market support during the day.

He never looked clued up enough to justify it, but the penny looked as if it was beginning to drop late on and he is turned out again very quickly.

He cost 370,000 Guineas out of the Craven Breeze Up Sale, so it is a bit of a surprise it has taken quite so long for him to see the track but again shows that better can reasonably be expected. This is especially so as no Ed Dunlop juvenile has yet won first time out this season (0/35).

Conflagration was the second shortest priced of those Dunlop debutantes, behind Global Humor, who was sent off the 11-8 favourite when third at Newcastle before winning next time out at Wolverhampton. Conflagration can do the same.

8.15 Kempton – Harlequin Storm:

One of the highlights of Champions Day for me was getting to call a first Group One win for Dean Ivory.

Dawn’s Delight, trained by his father Ken, was one of my favourite horses and it was great to see Dean break through at the highest level on the biggest of stages.

Dean has only ever trained two first time out winning juveniles (2/144) and they were on consecutive days in June 2015.

So when Harlequin Storm ran third on debut he really appealed as the type to improve significantly.

It was not immediate, but last time on his handicap debut he looked likely to set up a sequence and is confidently selected here as the best bet of the day.

Richard Hoiles' Tuesday tips: (Prices correct at 9.30am)

2.20 Exeter: Theatre Stage at a generally available 9-2

7.15 Kempton: Conflagration at 5-1 with BetVictor, Sky Bet and William Hill

8.15 Kempton: Harlequin Storm at 100-30 with BetVictor, Paddy Power and William Hill

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