TIPS: Gurkha on victory trail at Kempton

Tips
Henderson rules out Kempton run for Altior

Mighty Gurkha is expected to get back on the winning trail in the Unibet 3 Uniboosts A Day Conditions Stakes at Kempton.

Archie Watson’s rapid colt made a huge impression on his racecourse debut at Lingfield last summer, after which he performed with plenty of credit in Listed company at Royal Ascot and at Newbury.

The son of Sepoy made a successful return to the all-weather in the Sirenia Stakes over the course and distance in September, after which he disappointed in soft ground at Newmarket before providing Hollie Doyle with her first Breeders’ Cup ride at Keeneland.

That American speed test proved too much for Mighty Gurkha to handle, but he showed the adventure had not dimmed his enthusiasm one bit at Wolverhampton last month – when he gave everything he had in front, only to pipped on the post by the progressive Victory Heights.

Just as at Dunstall Park, Watson’s charge has to concede weight all round in this Fast-Track Qualifier – but while there are some promising types in opposition, they will all need to improve significantly on what they have shown so far to peg back this game front-runner.

There is every chance Watson and Doyle will double up in the following Unibet 3 Uniboosts A Day Handicap, with the Hambleton Racing-owned Going Places.

Despite having shaped with promise in two starts for Roger Varian, the five-year-old son of Frankel was moved on for the relatively modest fee of 20,000 guineas last summer, and was gelded before a recent debut for his new connections.

Whether it was the gelding operation, the change of yard or a combination of both that did the trick, Going Places already looks a bargain-buy – judged on a striking performance at Lingfield little over a fortnight ago, producing a dominant display from the front.

He enters the handicap domain on a mark of 89 and is open to major progress following just three career starts.

Sweet Celebration catches the eye in the opening Try Our New Price Boosts At Unibet Handicap.

The Excelebration mare has won three times for trainer Marco Botti, with each of those wins coming on an artificial surface.

She struck gold on her return from a six-month break at Newcastle last June, since when she has run three decent races on turf, most recently third at Doncaster in September.

Sweet Celebration is again fresh from a short holiday, and is fancied to make her presence felt.

Defined can open his account in the tote.co.

uk Live Streaming Every UK Race Maiden Stakes at Chelmsford.

John Gosden’s youngster is a typically well-bred product of Cheveley Park Stud, being a son of Derby winner Golden Horn and out of a high-class mare in Criteria.

His introductory effort at Wolverhampton in October was a little underwhelming, but he showed the benefit of that experience when a close-up third at Lingfield next time – since when he has finished fifth and third.

While a Derby entry looks fanciful at this stage, Defined has enough ability to win a minor race such as this.

Plumpton punters can get off to a good start with Natural History in the Strong Flavours Catering Maiden Hurdle if the meeting survives an inspection.

Gary Moore’s six-year-old is seeking his first success over jumps – having finished a beaten favourite but gallant runner-up on his course-and-distance hurdles debut here this month.

He brings high-class Flat form to the equation, though, and could still take high rank as a novice this season for a trainer who is very much among the winners at present.

SELECTIONS

CHELMSFORD: 1.

10 Jumira Bridge, 1.

40 Mercurist, 2.

10 Casaruan, 2.

40 Defined, 3.

10 Nurse Florence, 3.

40 Baby Sham, 4.

10 Gold Standard.

KEMPTON: 4.

15 Sweet Celebration, 4.

45 Kingsley Klarion, 5.

15 Secret Potion, 5.

45 Needwood Blossom, 6.

15 MIGHTY GURKHA (NAP), 6.

45 Going Places, 7.

15 Paxos, 7.

45 Mi Laddo, 8.15 Murhib.

PLUMPTON: 1.

50 Natural History, 2.

20 Brewers Project, 2.

50 Echo Watt, 3.

20 Bailarico, 3.

50 En Coeur, 4.

20 Mr Jack.

DOUBLE: Mighty Gurkha and Going Places.

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