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Commanche set to conquer all



Commanche Red winning at Kempton Park on St Stephen’s Day. Pic: racingpost.com

Commanche Red winning at Kempton Park on St Stephen’s Day. Pic: racingpost.com

Commanche Red winning at Kempton Park on St Stephen’s Day. Pic: racingpost.com

The miserable weather we've endured over the last few weeks has already taken its toll on today's racing and the Eider meeting at Newcastle is also in danger.

Kempton always seems to bring up good ground, however, and a quality card goes ahead this afternoon with some classy individuals in action.

First stop is the Grade Two Betway Pendil Novices' Chase, where Chris Gordon's COMMANCHE RED (1.15, Kempton) is a confident selection as he continues his progression over fences.


Lightly raced over the larger obstacles, this smart hurdler has come on with every run this season, following up an excellent effort in the Rising Stars at Wincanton - when finishing third behind Reserve Tank - with a very taking win over course and distance here at Christmas.

He had Simply The Betts nine lengths back then, On The Slopes in third and Mr McGo in fourth.

All three of those have subsequently come out and won, so the form looks very strong.

This is definitely a stronger contest, but this seven-year-old has the talent to go to the top and could very well be dining at the top table soon.

The Betway Kingwell Hurdle looks fiercely competitive, but there are doubts surrounding a few of them and the one who looks potentially the most progressive is SONG FOR SOMEONE (2.25, Kempton).

Since stepping into open company this season, the five-year-old has improved with every run, winning a handicap at Fontwell and running well at Listed level, before he ran a screamer at Ascot last time in a Grade Three.

That was a brilliant effort from the front and he was only picked off late by the very classy Thomas Darby.

That said, the drop back in trip from two and a half miles to the minimum trip of two miles will suit and Aidan Coleman can dominate from the front here.

In the Betway Handicap Chase, ADRIEN DU PONT (3.35, Kempton) can bounce back to form over a course and distance he has run well in the past. Already a winner here as a novice, he also finished a fine third in this race last season off a handicap mark of 151.

He hasn't exactly set the world alight since then but has dropped back to a mark of 145 as a result and that leaves him dangerously well handicapped today if he can rediscover his old form.

Finally, at home in Fairyhouse, MILLEN TO ONE (2.52, Fairyhouse) is also still well handicapped on his run from two starts back.

At Leopardstown over Christmas, Francis Flood's six-year-old was a half-length second in a competitive contest. Since then, he had no luck at Down Royal when badly hampered a couple of times, but he remains well treated off the same mark today and can do the business with Luke Dempsey in the plate.