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Tote Placepot: Selections for Saturday, 24th February at Kempton

|Solo| |Pendil Novices' Chase|

For this week’s Tote Placepot, we are heading to Kempton to take aim at their first six races, which feature three Graded contests. Joe Napier provides his selections to see you through to the last leg.

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Leg 1: 1.15pm

Leg 1 Selections: (2) No Ordinary Joe, (3) Fantastic Lady, (5) Mark Of Gold

This is a brute to open up the card, with 15 runners ensuring only three places and a favourite as big as 11/2 in places. That horse is Sea Invasion for Chris Gordon and while he and a couple of other novices could be thrown in, their form to date is far from a guarantee of that. Instead, Nicky Henderson’s pair of NO ORDINARY JOE and FANTASTIC LADY should be played. The latter is the mount of Nico De Boinville despite being the outsider of the Henderson trio in the betting so has to be monitored on a lenient mark on her return to hurdles. The former is due to run on soft ground for the first time since runner-up in last year’s Martin Pipe and is now just 1lb higher than for that Cheltenham run.

Add in MARK OF GOLD for some extra security in this first leg. Gary Moore’s charge is another who could well be more at home on a softer surface judged on his form last spring, and he is another who could be on a winnable mark if at his best.

Coral Racing Club Handicap Hurdle
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Leg 2: 1.50pm

Leg 2 Selections: (1) Kalif Du Berlais

Paul Nicholls has won this race four times and while there are others with impressive recent performances or resumés in this, KALIF DU BERLAIS is the solid option despite a 5lb penalty. The son of St Leger winner Masked Marvel was impressive here in January, and the third and fifth that day have won since. His trainer has had some kind words to say about him to boot, so it would be a shock to see him out of the top two.

Coral Adonis Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2) (GBB Race)
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Leg 3: 2.27pm

Leg 3 Selections: (6) Arclight

Nicholls also has an outstanding record in this Grade 2 novice chase, winning it 13 times, but Tahmuras probably should have won last time out and this is open enough. Nicky Henderson also has five wins in the race and his mare ARCLIGHT could not have received a more timely form boost than when Marsh Wren, runner-up to the five-year-old last time, won in Ireland earlier this week. The selection has improved with every run, remaining unbeaten over fences and can put it to the boys here.

Coral Pendil Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) (GBB Race)
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Leg 4: 3.00pm

Leg 4 Selections: (6) Lump Sum, (8) Williethebuilder

We are down to seven in this contest, making it slightly awkward from a Placepot perspective. Taking recent Newbury form on trust, LUMP SUM is a worthy favourite and would make the top two on that evidence. However, should it not pan out, then he and Fiercely Proud may struggle and it is worth dividing and conquering with WILLIETHEBUILDER at a bigger price. He is 11lb better off with Panjari for their meeting at Cheltenham in December in which there was just half-a-length between them. That horse put a poor performance at Musselburgh behind him last time out and if Dan Skelton’s charge can do the same then he would be very interesting in here having been pulled out of an easier assignment earlier in the week.

Coral Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) (GBB Race)
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Leg 5: 3.37pm

Leg 5 Selections: (8) Bowtogreatness, (11) Unanswered Prayers

The handicaps remain treacherous to find answers in, with 6/1 joint favourites on best prices at this stage. The first of the two to chance here is Ben Pauling’s BOWTOGREATNESS, who is well worth another go at 3m after his runner-up effort in a Grade 3 at Aintree last season. He has won on soft ground before and his only three runs going right-handed resulted in his easiest novice hurdle victory, a short-head second at Exeter on chase debut, and a Grade 1 run at Sandown. He may have been last of five in the latter contest, but the race was deep in quality and he largely held his own.

UNANSWERED PRAYERS is the other included in the hope of a decent dividend. Chris Gordon’s eight-year-old has struggled slightly since the back end of his novice campaign, but by far his best run since came at Ascot in November in which he fell at the last when competing for a place. That was his only ever run on soft ground over 3m and he races off the same mark here in a comparable race.#

Coral Trophy Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) (GBB Race)
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Leg 6: 4.10pm

Leg 6 Selections: (7) Pepe Le Moko

Whether all eight stand their ground or not, PEPE LE MOKO has improved a great deal for fences and a ready course and distance success last time means he should be highly involved in this too. A 9lb rise for his 14-length success may not hinder his progress and he looks a sensible selection in the last to get us over the line.

Play Coral Racing-Super-Series For Free Handicap Chase (GBB Race)
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Suggested Placepot Selections For Kempton On Saturday 24th February

Leg 1 Selections: (2) No Ordinary Joe, (3) Fantastic Lady, (5) Mark Of Gold

Leg 2 Selections: (1) Kalif Du Berlais

Leg 3 Selections: (6) Arclight

Leg 4 Selections: (6) Lump Sum, (8) Williethebuilder

Leg 5 Selections: (8) Bowtogreatness, (11) Unanswered Prayers

Leg 6 Selections: (7) Pepe Le Moko

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