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Kempton and Newcastle previews: Wild Flower ready to bloom

| 03.02.2016

David Metcalf | February 3, 2016

Wild about the chances of Flower at Kempton

Wild Flower can take advantage of a drop in class to open her account in the 7f handicap on this evening’s card at Kempton (17.05).

The filly was formerly trained in Ireland and ran well on her final start for J J Murphy when a 3/4 length second of 13 to Humour in a class 6 contest at Chelmsford back in October.

Wild Flower then joined Jimmy Fox and posted a cracking effort for her new handler when runner-up to Etaad in another class 6 affair at Lingfield off a mark of 50.

The four-year-old held every chance inside the final furlong before being outpaced by the winner to be beaten 2 3/4 lengths.

Etaad has come out and won again since, and the sixth home Spinning Cobblers has also gone on to taste success.

That gives the form a strong look and Wild Flower now drops into class 7 company for the first time and is able to race off the same rating.

It makes the daughter of Approve look weighted to take all the beating, and another plus is that Wild Flower has bagged the plum draw in stall one from which to attack.

Kempton NH

Ashord Island holds all the aces

In the 7f handicap (19.40), Ashford Island is a fascinating contender now fitted with the cheekpieces for the first time.

The Mike Murphy trained gelding has only had six starts and has often shaped better than the bare result suggests and caught the eye on more than one occasion.

They include when sixth of 10 over 1m on handicap debut at Chepstow three starts back, where after being held-up off the pace travelling nicely Ashford Island made good headway three from home to hold every chance at the two marker before being unable to find any extra approaching the last and weakening to be beaten 7 1/2 lengths.

Ashford Island was not knocked about and allowed to come home in his own time once it was clear he would not be winning, and showed enough to suggest that he should be capable of winning a race of this nature over 7f off a basement mark of 48.

The three-year-old also comes into the contest on the back of a career-best effort when a solid fourth at Wolverhampton nine days ago, where he held every chance until weakening late on to be beaten 3 3/4 lengths.

If building on that, Ashford Island looks the one to beat if the fitting of the headgear has the desired effect.


17.05: Wild Flower (NAP)
17.40: Cultured Knight
18.10: Dutiful Son
18.40: Cape Speed
19.10: Altaira
19.40: Ashord Island (NB)

Oil Burner weighted to shine at Newcastle

Oil Burner will revel in the testing conditions at Newcastle today and looks decent value to cash-in on a drop in the weights and land the spoils in the 2m 4f handicap chase (15.45).

The Bill Coltherd gelding was last successful back in January 2014 when ploughing through the mud to score easily by 10 lengths at Ayr off a mark of 95.

Oil Burner has since had just five starts and has clearly had his problems and not been the easiest to train.

However, the 11-year-old shaped nicely on his return to action at Ayr last when a not knocked about fourth of 10 to Art Lord and has since been dropped a further 2lb in the weights.

Oil Burner is now able to race off a mark of just 92, 3lb lower than when last successful, and that gives him major claims from a handicapping perspective on the pick of his form.

The veteran also has the services of Grant Cockburn in the saddle who is good value for his 5lb claim, and taking it into account Oil Burner looks weighted to get back to winning ways.


Mysteree the answer to novices’ handicap chase

In the 2m 7f novices’ handicap chase that opens proceedings (13.30), Mystree looks capable of giving weight and a beating to his three rivals.

The Lucinda Russell trained gelding had some useful form as a hurdler when winning twice, and overcame an absence of 615 days to make a winning debut over fences in a class 3 contest at Wetherby in December.

Mysteree faced just rival, but jumped well and drew clear from the second last to score easing down by 32 lengths off a mark of 117.

It was a taking performance after such a lengthy spell on the sidelines and Mysteree has since gone on to finish a solid third to Askamore Darsi at Doncaster.

That race was far more competitive than this class 4 affair, and Askamore Darsi has since come out and won again since to give the form a solid look.

Mysteree has also been dropped 1lb to a mark of 118, and that looks very exploitable given that the eight-year-old was rated as high as 125 over hurdles.


13.30: Mysteree (NB)
14.00: Little Glenshee
14.35: Pain Au Chocolat
15.10: Present Flight
15.45: Oil Burner(NAP)
16.20: Home For Tea


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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.