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Kieran O’Neill blog: ‘He’d definitely be my best chance of a winner’

| 02.02.2024

In his exclusive blog with Coral, Kieran O’Neill looks at his runners on Saturday at Kempton, revealing which he thinks has the best chance of being a winner.

Kieran O’Neill blog

The Sky Is Blue – 5:15 Kempton

She just found things happening far too quickly for her on first start at Southwell last month, and I’d say she’s very much a bit of a long-term project. She’ll hopefully have learned plenty from that initial outing, but I’d say she’ll progress and learn on the job as the year goes on, but hopefully she can show us a bit more than she did at Southwell on her debut.

Jaunty Dancer – 5:45 Kempton 

She made a nice start on her first run here back in December, and I was just a bit disappointed with her at Wolverhampton last time as she didn’t really progress at all. I think she’ll appreciate going back to Kempton, and if she can run to a similar level as she did here on debut, then she should be able to hit the frame at the very least. She’ll get a handicap mark after this, and we’ll be there to do our best, but I’d say we’ll really see the best of her in handicaps when she goes up in trip on the grass.

Tea Leaf Ted – 6:15 Kempton

I didn’t ride him the last day when he was a very disappointing favourite, but I was on him when he went close on his two starts before that, and hopefully he can bounce back from that disappointment last time. He’s a horse that needs to be up with the pace, so I suspect we’ll be right up there early, and hopefully the race will be run to suit. Aspire To Glory for the Coral Racing Club looks handicapped to win again, so I suspect he’s the one we’ve all got to beat, but I expect my lad will be bang there at the finish, he just might find one or two too good once again.

Letmelivemylife – 6:45 Kempton

I’ve never ridden Letmelivemylife before, but he’s back down to a mark of 80 which he hasn’t seen for a little while, so he’s certainly handicapped to win if recapturing his best form. He’s only been round Kempton once before when finishing third a few years ago, and he’s been running some nice races in defeat of late, so if he runs to the same level as he did at Chelmsford last time, I think he can be very competitive dropped back into class 4 company now.

Zealandia – 7:15 Kempton

He’s a good horse Zealandia, and he gets this trip no problem at all. He’s another who needs to be ridden handily as he’s not quick, but he’s an out and out galloper who lengthens rather than quickens, so I suspect this nice long straight at Kempton will suit him. He looked beaten last time at Newcastle, but he battled back well to get up close home, and Enemy the horse who finished second that day has franked the form since, so I’m hopeful a 5lb rise won’t stop him going close again. He’s very much unexposed over these staying trips, so I’m looking forward to riding him again, and I’d say he’d definitely be my best chance of a winner on the card.

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Harvey Watkins