All-Weather Tips – the best bets at Newcastle and Kempton
It’s not all about the Cheltenham Festival, Jack Haylett (@_Frankelstein_) returns with his best bets at Kempton and Newcastle on Wednesday.
Lord Of The Lodge – 3.40 Newcastle
It would be rare that I put up an odds-on shot as an advised selection, but Lord of The Lodge looks to hold outstanding claims in this fast-track qualifier for All-Weeather Finals day.
With it necessary for him to win here to qualify for the main event, then you would expect he will be resuming here fit, and if able to reproduce the form of his second in the Gimcrack last time then he will win this comfortably.
An unfurnished two-year-old, I would be hopeful of him progressing significantly coming into his 3yo season, and he should prove a nice horse to follow this season. If he does indeed progress as much as I expect then he should win this quite comfortably as he is rated 9lb clear of the field. In-fact if he can run anywhere close to his mark of 109 then he will hardly have to come off the bridle to win this.
The only concern would be this is his first start on the all-weather, but it would be extremely disappointing were Lord Of The Lodge not able to get the job done, and I think the 10/11 available is a very fair price.
Humbert – 4.15 Newcastle
Humbert has been running well of late and benefits from the handicapper dropping him a further pound in the weights, which allows him to run in this 0-85 class 4 handicap now.
That is the lowest grade he has contested since just his fifth career start, when a comfortable winner from his then mark of 86. He runs now from 87, having at one point been rated as high as 100 so it is clear that Humbert is a very well-treated horse.
I think it is notable that the horse’s career-best performance came on his sole start at this track (a winner off 97 that day in a class 2), and connections look to have found him the ideal opportunity to get back to winning ways now.
David O’Meara’s horses are running extremely well at present, and at 11/4 I think Humbert looks an extremely attractive betting proposition.
Rondo – 6.30 Kempton
My initial thoughts on this race were that the favourite had a very vulnerable look to his profile, as he is already twice beaten at odds-on and he may well prove one of those frustrating types who are often sent off short prices (and beaten) in novices. The extra furlong he now gets may bring about improvement, but he sets a far from formidable standard and I’m happy to take him on.
The one I’ve opted to play is Rondo and admittedly I am a sucker for Khalid Abdullah-owned horses, but this colt comes from a nice Juddmonte family and shaped with distinct promise on racecourse debut. He followed in four subsequent winners that day, so the form of that run is strong, and the selection was certainly looked after with the future in mind.
The six furlongs he was asked to debut over was always likely to be too short, but he plugged on nicely enough that day and will benefit greatly for the extra furlong here. Charlie Hills has his string in fine form at present, and a significant step forward looks likely now from this colt. He faces some nicely bred debutants so it is difficult to make him a confident selection given the amount of unknowns in the race, but at 4/1 I think he is a very fair price and am happy to take a chance.