• Tue 25 Jun, 2024
  • 13:00 BST
  • 09:00 EST (BST-4)
  • 15:00 CEST (BST+2)

Five to follow on Saturday

Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Kempton and Warwick on Saturday. View selections below.

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ON THE BLIND SIDE (3.15) will welcome a slight ease in grade in the three-mile Unibet Handicap Chase at Kempton.

Nicky Henderson’s lightly-raced eight-year-old, a previous course and distance winner, was sent off favourite to land a Graduation Chase at Ascot before Christmas but couldn’t match strides with impressive Riders Onthe Storm. Heavy ground that day wouldn’t have been ideal and On The Blind Side has performed well in the past on this sounder surface. Walt beat Double Shuffle over course and distance last February and should go well along with Touch Kick.

Henderson fields a strong Saturday team and TOP NOTCH (2.05) bids to repeat last year’s triumph in the Unibet Silviniaco Conti Chase. He had five lengths to spare over Black Corton 12 months ago and has won both starts this term, edging out 100-1 outsider Kauto Rico in the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon and earlier winning a thriller over hurdles from Roksana and Vision Des Flos at Aintree.

Paul Nicholls would dearly like to capture the race named in honour of his former star chaser and relies on Frodon. Bryony Frost and Frodon are one of the best-loved double acts in the game but the gelding hasn’t been at concert-pitch so far this season, finishing more than 26 lengths adrift of Lostintranslation and Bristol De Mai in the Betfair Chase at Haydock and again occupying third spot when almost 15 lengths behind Forest Bihan and Kalashnikov at Aintree.

One of Frodon’s great assets is slick jumping and his cause wasn’t helped when several fences were omitted at Liverpool because of the low sun. It would come as no surprise to see him leave that effort well behind.

BURROWS EDGE (2.40) merits each-way support in the Unibet Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle. The gelding reverts to hurdles after falling in a Beginners’ Chase at Ludlow and his proven track nous will stand him in good stead.

Burrows Edge was made 7-4 favourite but managed only third under 11st 12lb behind Wicked Willy here in March, that effort coming on the back of a neck defeat at the hands of Erick Le Rouge, again over course and distance, the previous month.

Likely favourite Notre Pari disposed of One Night In Milan at Aintree in early December but was in receipt of 16lb from the Scottish raider. One Night In Milan has since finished a close third at Musselburgh under a crushing weight and the form is probably reliable. Of definite interest near the foot of the weights is Tight Call, the subject of a breathing operation since running fourth to Honest Vic (impressive winner since) at Market Rasen last October. He ran very well behind Brio Conti at Ascot last February until falling at the final flight.

The JP McManus silks worn by Notre Pari are on show later on the card aboard NEVER ADAPT (3.45). The winner of her only start in France, the Henderson-trained mare was having only her third career start when chasing home Repititio and Oakley in a hot affair at Cheltenham in December and can take care of course winner Golden Taipan.

The 3m 5f Warwick Handicap Chase is always keenly-contested and ex-Irish THE CONDITIONAL (3.00) has developed into a smart stayer for David Bridgwater.

He made his mark at Cheltenham in late October when beating West Approach and improved again in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury when finding only De Rasher Counter too strong. The Conditional mounted a serious challenge over the last couple of obstacles and a 5lb rise seems fair in a lesser event. Kimberlite Candy’s second in the Becher Chase at Aintree was a better effort and he makes some appeal along with previous Warwick hurdle winner Bobo Mac.

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