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Preview - 09 May 2008

1:45 WARWICK INTERNATIONAL HANDICAP (CLASS 2) (4yo+,0-100) Winner £13,246.80 7f122y GD-FM

A handicap that threw up  good pointers towards the Bunbury cup at the July meeting last year, After going through my proces, I have four horses to pick from for this handicap, where three of them are a double figure price. The ground at Chester has come up on the quick side for this meeting and the hazy sunshine will make today no difference, as good to firm should be an accurate description of the going today.

So, the four runners that I believe should be considered for this handicap, are the following: -

Celtic Sultan is the first and the only currently single figured price of the four for this handicap, where he is currently trading at 9-1. Off top weight in this handicap this horse is quite likely to go from the front today from a low draw of 6 of 13 and if Dream Lodge doesnít decide to take him on could potentially make every yard a winning won under Mick Fenton who has kept this horse consistently running well in the past. The quick ground is ideal for his action and style of running around here and even though a straight galloping track has been his most ideal preference he did run well here behind South Cape and has to be considered on the back of that run.

Higher in the handicap then when 3rd at this track the hope from his trainer is that this further trip will help him to overcome the mark and bring out further improvement that maybe is needed to win this handicap, if he is to overcome the higher mark, where he looks handicapped up to his best over seven furlongs he will be contesting listed class handicaps and heritage handicaps in the near future. Already beaten the Kiddykid on that run behind South Cape he has it all to do at the weights with that rival but where as he is on the up that rival is very much on the down grade and would be no surprise to see Celtic sultan confirm the form even though he may not have it all his own way.

The Kiddykid is potentially the class horse in the field but as already touched on he has a regressive nature about him in terms of performances over the last 12 months and even though the stable are in very solid form at the moment you have to take a leap of faith that he still retains some ability that he once possessed. He is around a stone and a half well in here if returning to his best form and the booking of Jimmy Quinn is very eye catching as he is a good job jockey in my opinion in handicaps and the low weight this horse has is a bonus. This meeting has thrown up winners that have had plenty of runs so far and he is potentially the best-handicapped horse on the entire card. The ground is ideal for him and given that it is Chester racecourse there is every chance he can win here, as he is very suited to the track. Drawn wide on the track he is likely to be tucked in behind the speed today over this mile trip as he likes to be and if Jimmy Quinn can work the position he could be handy despite the negative draw.

Goes well this time of the year he has had his prep for this race today and should be ready to do himself much justice, the recent form of the horse could well be turned around and if he sees this trip as well as the seven furlongs he isnít a forgone hope in this. Having already touched on his performance against Celtic Sultan he has a chance of reversing that running and has to make the shortlist.

Dream Lodge has been kept to a minimal amount of runs on turf in comparison to his all weather profile and on the latter surface he has been pitched in against some classy rivals which would give him quite a say on turf of this mark if he could produce the same sort of form. The ground today is ideal having shown good speed for this type of surface on two of his eight starts on turf and clearly he could improve further for this run on turf having achieved a reasonable level of form on it in the past. The number one draw means he is likely to benefit from having the running rail if bidding to go from the front which is possible having done so in the past and could well set it up for a closer.

Quite attractively weighted for this handicap he has had to with stand quite a bit of racing for a 4yo so far in his career and itís only the light profile on turf to which we may be able to draw some improvement from. Recent form is quite good, he may not have enough pace to see of Celtic Sultan but stamina wise he is guaranteed to last the trip and may just sit off the leader here today to enhance his chance for a yard that does well here.

The last one I wish to touch on is from the inform yard of Richard Hannon and Plum Pudding who does very well in these months of the year for the yard and after a spell over hurdles, where he didnít take too he should benefit from the quick conditions under foot over this trip. Suited ideally by the straight galloping track of the Rowley Mile he has ran well twice At kemptonís All weather track suggesting that the sharper tests shouldnít be a problem for the horse. Another that is very well weighted in this race he should give a bold sighter today for connections and even though quirky tracks such as Epsom have seen him falter he should go better at this quirky turning track today. Richard Hughes has been a man in form lately and under his new leash of life he could finally get to grip with this horse, where he has gone close on in the past.

Another that has with stood plenty of racing he could finally win a race at this level, but the fact that they have gone hurdling with the horse suggest that there isnít a lot left with this horse in terms of improvement and easier races may well be the option in the future.

These four all meet the criteriaís I have put in place in this race and the fact that all four are quite a big price suggests it is a wide open race. Of the four runners, Celtic Sultan needs to improve over the mile to land this race off top weight, while The Kiddykid is another that has yet to shine over a mile in two runs, but is very nicely handicapped against these rivals today. He could well bounce back to form as an 8yo, even though in recent years it has been won by a younger horse. Plum Pudding has lots in his favour, apart from the fact that he has yet to win at this level. He is very heavily raced for a 5yo and the hurdling factor is a slight concern. Dream Lodge should stay the trip but then you got the potential speed duel setting it up, however there is a chance he will sit off Celtic Sultan, who will need to dictate the pace to be winning this, and the extra stamina may allow him to have the edge over that horse. He is looking attractively priced at 20-1, along with the Kiddykid, who may be worth one more try after having his prep for this event today and not being a front runner in the past, it was no surprise to see fail to get home last time, when cutting out the running. Jimmy Quinn is a eye catching booking for the horse.

Selections Ė The Kiddykid 2 pts win @ 33-1 (BF40ís) & Dream Lodge 1 pt win @ 18-1 (18ís)

Best of luck all

Well Chief