Our expert tipster Kevin O'Malley returns to his midweek ante-post column with an 8/1 fancy in the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton, along with a 33/1 outsider in the Grade 2 Novices' Hurdle at Warwick on Saturday afternoon...
Lord Napier Poised To Strike in Lanzarote Hurdle
Six of the past ten winners of the Lanzarote Hurdle were aged six, so it is little surprise that four of the top six in the market for the 2019 Lanzarote Hurdle represent that age group. 7yo Kloud Gate put in a polished effort at Doncaster last time out, but the handicapper has put him up a hefty 12lb for that and this assignment is much tougher. The Paul Nicholls trained Darling Maltaix is consistent and progressive, but others are better on the clock. At the prices, the one I like is Peter Bowen’s LORD NAPIER, who ran an eye-catching race in the two mile Betfair Exchange Hurdle at Ascot last time out. He was held up in mid-division and when the field was really trapping down the back straight, he was struggling a bit to go the gallop. He kept tabs though, and made up ground as they rounded for home.
The trouble is, he was racing wide of the whole field turning in, but I love the way this horse spied all the horses in front of him and up his inside and embraced the battle, staying on strongly past horses to finish 6th. Grand Sancy, who was runner up in a Grade 1 last weekend, was only a couple of lengths ahead of him at the finish and had a much easier trip through the contest. So the form reads well and Lord Napier definitely left the impression that this step up to 2m5f at an easier right-handed track like Kempton Park would be to his liking. He ran with credit behind Silver Streak and Our Merlin on his two starts before that over the minimum trip. Prior to that, he won a Perth Novices’ Handicap Hurdle in a good time over 2m4f, so we already know he stays well.
Lord Napier may not have the appealing form figures and connections of others, but he represents some sound form and the conditions of the race are perfect for him. He is also available to back at 8/1 at Ladbrokes, William Hill and Paddy Power, which is decent value in my book.
Wadham’s Barratry No 33/1 Shot in Grade 2 Novices Hurdle
The Grade 2 Ballymore Leamington Novices’ Hurdle over 2m5f at Warwick on Saturday looks like it could be a belter on paper with the likes of Birchdale, Tidal Flow and Rockpoint all looking menacing toward the top of the market. But I’m going to take a flyer on the Lucy Wadham trained ADMIRAL BARRATRY at enormous odds of 33/1. This unexposed 6yo beat a very useful Alan King recruit last time up at Huntingdon, running to an RPR of 125 and Topspeed rating of 114. On bare ability, he has a bit to find, but it was a very good speed figure and this athletic, well-built son of Soldier Of Fortune might just be on the upgrade. He stays and jumps well, finds plenty under pressure and I’d sooner have him as a lively 16/1 poke than the currently unconsidered 33/1 chance he is.
You can get in touch with me via email: Kevin.OMalley@GG.CO.UK OR by finding me on Twitter: @KOM_GGRacing