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Kempton and Southwell previews: Cascading Stars ready to shine

| 18.05.2016

David Metcalf | May 18, 2016

Cascading Stars and Morris a potent combination at Kempton

Cascading Stars can take advantage of a drops in the weights and ease in grade to land the 7f handicap on this evening’s card at Kempton (20:25).

This filly has just one win to her name in 22 starts, with that success coming in a class 2 contest over course and distance back in November 2014 off a rating of 65 when trained by Stan Moore.

However, Cascading Stars did run well on numerous occasions to make the frame last season, including when a short-head second in a 1m contest at this venue off 68 and 3/4 length third over course and distance off 73.

The four-year-old also wan’t disgraced when fourth at Newbury off 71, and is now able to race off her last winning mark of 65.

That gives Cascading Stars major claims at the weights now dropped into class 6 company, and the daughter of Tagula comes into the race on the back of an eye-catching ninth at Doncaster on her first start for trainer Mark Loughnane when tenderly handled.

Horse Racing - Leicester Racecourse

It also looks significant that connections have booked jockey Luke Morris to to the steering, as he was on board when Cascading Stars notched her sole career success, and the return to this venue where she has a good record is also a plus.

Ruban each-way value

In the 1m handicap (19.55), Ruban looks decent each-way value in a wide open contest.

The Stuart Williams trained gelding has won or finished in the frame in 50 per cent of his starts on the all weather (won two and placed four times from 12 starts) and is nicely treated on the pick of his form now dropped in class.

After winning his maiden at Southwell at the beginning of last year, Ruban went on to land a class 3 contest at Chelmsford by 1 1/3 length off a mark of 78.

This seven-year-old also ran well when a 1/2 length runner-up at the same venue off 82, and was far from disgarced when fourth to Marverick Wave in a class 2 contest at the track off 87.

Ruban also ran a blinder on his final start of 2015 on the turf at Goodwood when a 2 1/4 length fifth of 19 to Rene Mathis in a competitive class 2 affair, and is now able to race in this lower grade class 4 contest off 84.

The yard also does well with it’s runners at the track and, if ready to go at the first time of asking after 263 days on the sidlines Ruban looks capable of out-running his odds in the hands of Andrea Atzeni.

Kempton selections

17.55: Viserion
18.25: Tarboosh
18.55: Boost
19.25: Almodovar (NB)
19.55: Ruban (E/W)
20.25: Cascading Stars (NAP)
20.55: Bridge Builder

Avispa to strike at Southwell for in-form King

Horse Racing - The Crabbie's Grand National 2014 - Ladies Day - Aintree Racecourse

Trainer Alan King has his team in cracking form and Avispa looks to hold outstanding claims of providing him with another winner in the 2m novices’ hurdle on this evening’s card at Southwell (18:45).

This mare looked a smart prospect when winning a Listed bumper at Aintree in April 2014 but has yet to get her head in front in nine starts over the obstacles.

However, the seven-year-old has run well to make the frame on six occasions and hinted that her time was near when runner-up at Exeter two weeks ago.

Avispa jumped left at times but threw down a persistent challenge from three out and battled all the way to the line to go down by 1 1/4 lengths to Morning Herald.

The winner is a well-regarded and progressive sort who has now won two of her last three starts, and the pair pulled six lengths clear of the field to give the form a solid look in the context of this contest.

Judged on that effort, Avispa is well up to winning a race of this nature, and the return to a left-handed track is a big plus.

Red Infantry ready to march to success

Red Infantry looked unlucky not to open his account last time out and can gain compensation in the 3m novices’ hurdle (19:15).

Dubai Friday

The Ian Williams trained gelding has shown progressive form in three starts over the obstacles, and posted a career-best when third in a handicap at Uttoxeter last month.

After being held-up at the rear, Red Infantry was making stealthy headway when a blunder three from home stopped him in his tracks.

This six-year-old then rallied strongly and stuck to the task well to be beaten just 2 1/2 lengths, and it was to his credit that he managed to get so close.

But for the error, Red Infantry may well have prevailed and he went down as an unlucky loser.

The son of Indian River looks a major player judged on that effort now returning to novice company so, with further improvement on the cards and the yard in good form, Red Infantry is strongly fancied to open his account.

Southwell selections

17.40: Mustmeetalady
18.15: Dursey Sound
18.45: Avispa (NAP)
19.15: Red Infantry (NB)
19.45: Sarazen Bridge
20.15: Denboy
20.45: Sandymount


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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.