Weekend racing preview – final Cheltenham Festival clues at Kempton

The final clues for punters before the Cheltenham Festival fall into place on Saturday with Kempton staging a competitive seven-race card which features four Graded contests live on ITV4.

Friday, 26th February 2021, 11:42 am
Action from Kempton. Photo: David Davies - Pool/Getty Images

We have previewed the pick of the action with tips and analysis.

The feature race of the day is the £75,000 Grade Three Close Brothers Handicap Chase (3.35pm). Top-weight for the three-mile contest is Black Corton who is a course and distance winner, but has failed to fire on his last two runs.

The leading player for the contest according to bettingexpert’s Stephen Harris is Cap Du Nord. Trained by Christian Williams, the eight-year-old was far from disgraced when chasing home Royale Pagaille at Kempton in December before going on to finish third in Listed company at Doncaster in January. This track will play to his strengths and he looks a leading player.

Al Dancer is top-class on his day as showed when beating Master Tommytucker on his seasonal debut. However, he needs to put a below-par effort in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham behind him. Clondaw Castle was second in Graded company at Kempton last time out and is of interest pitched back into handicap company.

11-year-old Double Shuffle rolled back the years with victory over course and distance last time out and is another with each-way claims given his liking for the track. Slate House shaped well following wind surgery at Wincanton last time out and is of interest along with Aso who finished a fine second at Warwick last time out.

The £24,000 Grade Two Pendil Novices’ Chase (1.50pm) has attracted a small but select field of four headed Taramoc Du Mathan who shaped with promise when second to Shishkin at Kempton over the Festive period. He takes on Ga Law who was a respectable third in Grade One company at Sandown last time out. Paddy Power Gold Cup winner Coole Cody and Son Of Camas complete the field.

One of the other highlights on the card is the £22,500 Grade Two Adonis Juvenile Hurdle (2.25pm). Tritonic was a classy type on the Flat and made the perfect start to life over timber when a narrow winner at Ascot.

John Locke is a fascinating contender having his first run over hurdles. Rated 85 on the Flat, he is now trained by Dan Skelton and looks sure to play a leading role. Paul Nicholls saddles Paso Doble who was a dual winner in Ireland on the Flat for Jim Bolger and is another to note.

The other Grade Two event on the card is the £22,500 Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle (3.00pm) in which Atholl Street looks a leading player for Paul Nicholls. He has won both of his starts over hurdles in fine fashion and looks a lovely prospect. Calico was formely trained in Germany and made the perfect start for Dan Skelton when winning at Ludlow. The most fascinating runner however is Cape Gentleman. Winner of the Irish Cesarewitch, he was pulled-up in Grade One company at the Dublin Racing Festival last time out, but remains open to plenty of improvement.

Kempton Park selections

1.15pm Hometown Boy

1.50pm Coole Cody

2.25pm Tritonic

3.00pm Atholl Street

3.35pm Cap Du Nord

4.10pm Guy

4.45pm Guardino

Tips and analysis via Betting Expert