Kempton preview: Black Shadow can put rivals in the shade
Black Shadow bounced back to form when runner-up last time out, and can go one better to land the 1m 3f on this evening’s card at Kempton (20.40).
The Amanda Perrett trained gelding ran a stormer on his seasonal reappearance last year when second of 10 to Honor Bound over 1m 2f at Windsor, and then opened his account in good style over 1m 3f at Goodwood when making all and only having to be pushed clear to beat Altaayil by an easy 3 1/2 lengths.
It was an effort which marked Black Shadow out as a useful prospect, and the son of New Approach ran really well on his handicap debut at Epsom when runner-up to What About Carlo over in a class 2 contest over 1m 2f off an opening mark of 93.
Black Shadow went on to finish cracking fourth of 11 to the now 116-rated The Coriscan in a similar grade affair at Goodwood off 94, and is now able to race in this class 4 affair off just 78.
That gives Black Shadow major claims from a handicapping perspective, and the four-year-old comes into the race having run a blinder over 1m 2f at this track seven days ago when second of 12 to Eton Rambler.
Black Shadow conceded first run to the winner, before making good headway on the outside a furlong from home to be gaining all the way to the line and beaten just 1/2 a length.
It was an excellent effort given how the race panned out, and it’s no surprise to see connections turn Black Shadow out quickly, as he is due to race off a 4lb higher mark in future engagements.
In the other 1m 3f handicap on the card (21.10), Dovil’s Duel can take advantage of a drop in the weights to score an overdue success.
The Rod Millman trained gelding is on a long losing run, having not scored since landing back-to-back contests in the summer of 2013.
In the last of those at Lingfield, Dovil’s Duel stayed on strongly to score by 2 1/2 lengths off a mark of 65.
The four-year-old went on to run just three times in 2014, and his best effort came at this venue when fourth off a rating of 74.
Dovil’s Duel is now able to race off a career-low mark of just 58, and comes into the race on the back of a much improved performance when staying on strongly to finish a 1 1/4 length sixth of 12 to Yours Truly in a 1m 2f contest at Lingfield.
It was a big step back in the right direction and, if building on it, Dovil’s Duel looks weighted to take all the beating in the hands of Oisin Murphy.
17.40: Argent Touch
18.40: Next Life
19.40: Pure Diamond
20.10: Vibrant Chords
20.40: Black Shadow (NAP)
21.10: Dovil’s Duel (NB)