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Kempton Preview: Maria Bella the one to beat

| 15.10.2014

Maria Bella has a good record at Kempton and looks weighted to get back to winning ways in the 7f handicap on this evening’s card (8.45).

The Godolphin owned filly has won two of her four starts at the track, and finished third on the other two occasions.

The daughter of Raven’s Pass came good at the third time of asking when winning a 13-runner mile maiden by 2 3/4 lengths from Gay Marriage, and the race has thrown-up several subsequent winners.

Maria Bella was then off the track for 217 days before following up on handicap debut over course and distance back in June when making all to beat Rekdhat by a neck off a mark of 79.

She kept on well having raced keenly, finding plenty when asked having been hard on the bridle two from home.

The Charlie Appleby trained three-year-old then posted a really solid on the turf at Leicester when chasing home Felwah, and the winner has gone on to win twice since and is now rated 96 after finishing a close up fifth in a decent Listed contest at Ascot on her latest start.

In the circumstances it was a cracking effort from Maria Bella, who was attempting to give the winner 6lb, and it makes her current mark of 85 look exploitable.

There was also plenty to like about Maria Bella’s third last time out over course and distance after a break, and with William Buick in the saddle everything looks in place for a huge run.

In the 1m handicap that closes proceddings (9.15), Dream And Hope looks decent value to land the spoils following an eye-catching effort last time out.

The Phil McBride trained filly showed nothing in her first three starts, but shaped far better than her finishing position suggests on handicap debut over 1m 1f at Wolverhampton earlier in the month when fifth of 12 to the thriving Evacusafe Lady.

Although eventually beaten 13 1/4 lengths, that does not paint a true picture as Dream And Hope lost tons of ground when slowly away before being forced to make a move out wide two from home.

The daughter of Royal Applause the flattened out and hung left at the furlong marker as those exertions took their toll and was allowed to come home in her own time.

It was an effort which suggested Dream And Hope had enough ability to win a race of this nature if getting away on level terms, and the drop back to a mile should suit.

5.45: True Course
6.15: Danzoe
6.45: Raspberry Ripple
7.15: Jazzi Top
7.45: Ershaadaat
8.15: Ghany
8.45: Maria Bella (NAP)
9.15: Dream And Hope (NB)



David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.