Wednesday 27th December

1.20pm Kempton – Tommy Silver 2pts Win (3/1)

Tommy Silver was a decent enough hurdler last season, but his future was always going to be over the larger obstacles. In his three starts over fences to date he has shown a good level of form. Going down narrowly to Optimus Prime and Testify on a pair of occasions, both of those rivals have since gone in again. Tommy Silver has a win at Leicester over the useful Cultivator sandwiched in-between those efforts. I wouldn’t say this was the strongest Wayward Lad ever run and this guy can keep on improving.

1.30pm Wetherby – American Craftsman 2pts Win (5/2)

This course and distance winner caused a bit of a surprise on his hurdles debut when emerging victorious at 16/1. But in a Listed contest in his following start he showed that he does have a future over jumps when not beaten far by a pair of promising types and the second has since filled that same spot in a Grade 2. American Craftsman may still be being underestimated for winning Long Walk Hurdle combination Jedd O’Keeffe and Joe Colliver.

3.40pm Kempton – Monty’s Award 1pt Each Way (10/1)

A few non runners have cut this field up a touch and I’m not complaining as this only increases the chances for Monty’s Award. He won on his bumper debut last year beating a horse who’s now rated 118 and gave that horse 17lbs, so immediately this mark of 117 looks lenient. His performance on soft ground back in November on his first start over hurdles was full of promise as he was third behind Midnight Shadow and Counter Shy, whilst ahead of last seasons Champion Bumper favourite Cause Toujours. Putting this thoroughly unexposed, well-related horse into a handicap at this stage might be a stroke of genius by Charlie Longsdon.

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