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Kempton and Thirsk previews: Get ready for One Big Surprise

| 22.08.2016

David Metcalf | August 22, 2016

Surprise has a Big chance at Kempton

One Big Surprise looked an unlucky loser last time out and can gain compensation by landing the 6f handicap on this evening’s card at Kempton (20.50).

The Richard Hughes trained filly is a consistent sort who after notching her second success of the season in cosy style at Lingfield has posted two really solid efforts to make the frame.

In the last of those at Lingfield 16 days ago the four-year-old went down by just a length when third on nine to Ballyare after encountering trouble in-running.

After being held-up off the pace, One Big Surprise looked to be coming with what looked a winning run a furlong from home only to be denied a clear passage at a crucial stage.

It was to her credit that she stuck to the task well to get so close and it was an effort which suggested the daughter of Kier Park was ahead of her current mark.

Granted better luck this looks a nice opening for the thriving One Big Surprise to get back to winning ways.


Sacred Harp ready to hit the high notes

In the 7f handicap (18.50), Sacred Harp looks weighted to take all the beating if building on her latest effort.

The filly failed to trouble the judged in three starts last season for Charlie Appleby but did hint at ability.

On her second start over 6f, she raced keenly until getting shuffled back into mid-division and, after trying to make a move two from home, was eased in the final 100 yards once it was clear she would be winning to finish a 6 3/4 length ninth of 11 to Rebel Surge.

The winner is a useful sort now rated 87, and the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth have all won since.

Sacred Harp was allotted an opening handicap mark of 61 on the back of that effort and ran really well off it when runner-up at Nottingham on her first start for trainer Stuart Williams back in May.

The three-year-old has failed to build on that in four subsequent starts but posted an improved effort last time out on all-weather debut when a 1 1/4 length third over 6f at Chelmsford off a rating of 59 and looks a massive player in this off an unchanged mark now stepped up to 7f from the plum draw in stall one.

Kempton top tips

17.50: Booshbash
18.20: Broughtons Vision
18.50: Sacred Harp (NB)
19.20: Blushing Rose
19.50: Sir Valentine
20.20: Plymouth Sound
20.50: One Big Surprise (NAP)

Gwendolyn has plenty going for her at Thirsk

Gwendolyn can take advantage of a drop in class to land the 5f handicap on this evening’s card at Thirsk (19.05).

The filly has shown improved form since joining trainer Robert Cowell, scoring on the all-weather at Wolverhampton before following up on good-to-soft ground at Ripon in a class 4 contest back in April.

Gwendolyn has since posted three solid efforts to make the frame and the last two of those have been in class 2 company.

The three-year-old was beaten just 3/4 of a a length into third in the last of those at Newmarket back in June off a mark of 84 and has since been given a break to freshen-up.

Gwnedolyn now returns to action off just 1lb higher and drops back down into class 4 company.

That is the same as when last successful and with underfoot conditions to suit the daughter of Invincible Spirit looks capable of defying top weight in the hands of promising 7lb claimer George Wood.

Race horse trainer ROBERT COWELL.

Shearian handicapped to strike

Shearian has dropped to a dangerous mark and looks cracking value to score an overdue success in the 1m handicap (18.35).

The Tracy Waggott trained six-year-old was last successful at Chelmsford back in March 2015 when scoring easily by seven lengths off a rating of 47.

Shearian went on to post a number of solid efforts to finish in the frame, including when runner-up over course and distance 12 months ago when beaten just a neck off 61.

The gelding also ran well when runner-up at Newcastle off 64 but has not been at his best in six starts this season.

However, that has resulted in the assessor cutting Shearian plenty of slack and he is now able to race off just 52.

It gives the son of Royal Applause a big shout at the weights on the pick of his form and another plus is that Shearian likes to be ridden prominently and has bagged a good draw in stall one from which to attack.

Thirsk best bets

17.05: Question Of Faith
17.35: Connacht Girl
18.05: Dandy Place
18.35: Shearian (NB)
19.05: Gwendolyn (NAP)
19.35: Ehtiraas
20.05: Popsies Joy


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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.