6.40 Kempton: Conditions Stakes, 6f
Marnie James is clearly the class act in this field and will be hard to beat if he can stretch out to 6 furlongs. He remains unexposed on the All-Weather were he’s one win from one start, but more importantly has proven this season a couple of times his classy speed, particularly compared to what he encounters in this field.
Hi second and third place in big handicaps at York over shorter are tremendous pieces of form as he ran to topspeed ratings of 97 and 99 on those occasions. The latter one over 5.5 furlongs in fact, where he didn’t stop, suggesting another half a furlong may not be that big a deal.
Let’s not forget Marnie James has tried 6 furlongs only three times, the last time in September this year, finishing third in the listed Garrowby Stakes. Not exactly shabby form.
He’ll certainly have superior speed to the rest here if they will dawdle and should this end in a sprint finish.
10pts win – Marnie James @ 10/3 WH
8.10 Kempton: Class 6 Handicap, 6f
This looks a wide open race given the favourite drops to a trip that looks on the sharp side for him. There aren’t too many one can have on the shortlist for this poor contest, but Alba Del Sole features highly on mine, that’s for sure.
The mare isn’t a frequent winner, however is a course and distance winner and has dropped to a really tasty mark. Twelve months ago she was still a 70 rated individual, is now down to 52, though hasn’t ran all that badly this season, actually. Since switching yards this August her last two performances at Wolverhampton were decent enough, particularly her debut run for the Charlie Wallis yard was rather promising.
The fact Alba Del Sole has ran 8 times to topspeed ratings of 53+ is also encouraging in that context, suggesting she may be quite well handicapped now. Add the 7lb of useful apprentice Sean Kirrane who takes the ride – his only one on the card -and you have a competitive chance in this race.
The draw isn’t ideal, which really is the only negative, beside the obvious point that one has to trust the mare still has the appetite for the game.
10pts win – Alba Del Sole @ 15/1 MB