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Kempton to the rescue as Southwell's ‘all-weather’ racecourse is waterlogged
Whoever called it all-weather racing?
Officials at Southwell are probably asking the same question after the ‘all-weather’ Flat cards today and tomorrow had to be abandoned because of waterlogging and Wednesday is in jeopardy unless the rain ceases and some quick and effective drying takes place.
With Wetherby’s jumping card on Wednesday also in doubt after the latest relentless wet spell, thank goodness for today’s Kempton action, which features a useful National Hunt programme.
Alasi, who was on show at Wetherby three weeks ago, turns out in the £18,500 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle and is fancied to make a bold bid for Dominic Elsworth.
Trained by Paul Webber, Alasi finished a creditable second to Une Artiste in a similar Listed event at Wetherby, beaten by two and a half lengths.
Last season, she proved her worth more than once, not least when winning a Grade 2 race at Doncaster and finishing fourth to the brilliant Quevega at the Cheltenham Festival.
Alasi has 8lb to concede this afternoon, but she is a classy performer on her day and, with a useful run under her belt, she should take all the beating in Kempton’s most valuable contest.
Nicky Henderson had mixed fortunes at the weekend.
Although on the mark with Oscar Whiskey, he saw two of his other star performers, Long Run and Finian’s Rainbow defeated. The Lambourn trainer can resume winning ways at Kempton, albeit at a much lower level, with Snake Eyes and Joker Choker.
Tony McCoy pulls on the familiar colours of JP McManus aboard nap selection Snake Eyes in the Halcyon Gallery British Stallion Studs Novices’ Hurdle.
Third after being sent off favourite in a Fairyhouse bumper in April, when he was trained in Ireland, Snake Eyes looks a potentially useful recruit to Henderson’s power-packed string.
Joker Choker runs in the Pertemps Network Handicap Chase with Richie Killoran in the saddle.
Bogged down in testing ground at Aintree on his comeback run a month ago, the gelding is three times a hurdle winner and also has a chase victory to his credit. He should go well.
Also worth noting are The Druids Nephew (1.30), beaten by only a nose on his chasing debut at Ascot, and recent winner Petit Ecuyer (3.40), who is fancied to defy a penalty.
Onefourfun should appreciate the testing ground in the Betfred Goals Galore Handicap Chase at Ludlow today.
He has shown some fair form with cut and won a novice event at Bangor back in May before disappointing at Huntingdon next time out.
The quicker ground there was evidently not to his liking and Charlie Longsdon has given him a nice break since, so he should be fresh for this challenge.
Be Bop Boru can finally hit the target in the Vickey Thomas’s 40th Birthday Maiden Open National Hunt Flat Race.
He has finished second in both his starts for Vaughan so far and seems the type who will improve for further experience.
12.30 South Stack, 1.00 Snake Eyes (NAP), 1.30 The Druids Nephew, 2.05 Alasi, 2.35 Joker Choker, 3.10 Iron Chancellor, 3.40 Petit Ecuyer.
12.40 Zarzal, 1.10 Dream Risk, 1.45 Definite Dream, 2.15 Onefourfun, 2.50 The Rockies, 3.20 Daneva, 3.50 Be Bop Boru.
• Today’s meeting at Southwell has been abandoned.
Tomorrow’s meetings: Lingfield (inspection 8am today) and Sedgefield.
• Tomorrow’s meeting at Southwell has been abandoned.