2.40pm Cheltenham – Kalondra 2pts Win (11/2)
Neil Mulholland has been biding his time with Kalondra, having avoided both the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals in the search for better ground which he gets here. He’s done well since switching to fences by gaining a pair of victories, including over course and distance when beating subsequent Ultima winner Coo Star Sivola. Kalondra was disappointing in the Grade 1 Scilly Isles thereafter but he’s actually been dropped a couple of pounds which looks generous considering he was tenth in last season Coral Cup off 2lbs higher. He comes here a fresh horse and because of Frodon’s involvement, gets a very reasonable racing weight.
3.35pm Newmarket – Threading 2pts Win (4/1)
The best of these as a two year old, Threading won the Lowther in good style at York before being sent off 5/2 for the Group 1 Cheveley Park where she underperformed behind Clemmie and was a well-beaten seventh. But that doesn’t represent her true form as she was behind Madeline that day after beating her comfortably on her previous start, so I’m forgiving Threading that effort. This step up to 7f should suit and Mark Johnston had a reappearance winner in Mildenberger yesterday and his filly can follow suit today. Being sent off 5/2 for a Group 1 on her last start, the 4/1 available now just looks wrong to my eyes.
4.10pm Newmarket – Red Hut Red 1pt Win (5/1)
Next to no experience to go on here but William Haggas’ filly makes plenty of appeal on paper and I’m hoping for a good run. She’s by Kodiac who is a great source of early two year olds and Red Hut Red is a half-sister to last seasons Britannia winner Bless Him, I’m not convinced she’ll have to be a world beater to be winning this.
5.00pm Cheltenham – Singlefarmpayment 2pts Win (3/1)
Somehow, Singlefarmpayment only has the one win to his name over fences but it’s certainly not for lack of trying. He was second in the Ultima at the Cheltenham Festival off this mark in 2017, then filled that same spot here on seasonal reappearance in October before coming with a strong looking run in the Ladbrokes Trophy when unfortunately falling three fences from home. He’s got his ground today and he’s definitely up to winning off this mark, with Richard Johnson in the saddle this really does look the ideal opportunity for him to get his head back in front in an easier race than he’s been contesting recently.
5.30pm Cheltenham – Capitaine 1.5pts Win (5/1)
Paul Nicholls hasn’t had much luck with Capitaine this season, waiting for better ground that hasn’t come, but his patience can be rewarded today on a surface which should suit his son of Montmartre. He’s a graded class animal over both hurdles and fences, highlighted by a Grade 2 win at Ascot last season and he’s in a Class 3 Handicap today off a mark of just 139 which I believe is seriously underestimating him. Simply put, he’s too good for this, I’m taking a chance that he’ll be fit enough to win today, but if he his then he’s no 5/1 shot.
5.55pm Newmarket – Istanbul Sultan 1.5pts Win (9/2)
A number making their handicap debuts but the whole field bar one is having to concede weight to Silvestre De Sousa’s mount and that could prove crucial. Having had just the three runs as a two year old, he boasts some pretty strong form, his second to Gabr at Yarmouth has been franked and then some with that winner now rated 108 and the fourth, fifth and sixth all winning twice since. Istanbul Sultan then dead-heated with Loxley at Goodwood who went on to finish seventh in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy. William Haggas’ gelding makes his handicap debut off a mark of just 81 which looks to be generous to say the least, I’m expecting a big run.
7.15pm Kempton – Bold Warrior 0.5pts Each Way (16/1)
A tricky little race, but at the prices I think Bold Warrior is worth a bit of interest for Jeremy Noseda who is 5 from 10 with his three year olds on the all-weather so far this campaign and also has a 42% strike rate at this track in the past year. Bold Warrior is a half-brother to a Sir Michael Stoute winner and he’s from the same family as that trainers Group 1 winner Cannock Chase. Market support would be significant and I’m hoping to see plenty of it throughout the day.
7.45pm Kempton – Wufud 1pt Win (11/2)
Charlie Hills is flying at the moment with 4 winners from his last 8 runners and he may well have yet another one here in the shape of Wufud. He’s a half-brother to the stables sprint star Muhaarar and the family has a good record with regard to their early runs, if he’s cherry ripe today then I’d be expecting him to go close.