Kempton and Ludlow previews: Wizards Bridge weighted to strike
David Metcalf | April 19, 2016
Wizards Bridge looks magic in Kempton feature
Trainer Colin Tizzard can do little wrong at present, and Wizards Bridge looks decent value to provide him with another winner in the feature 3m handicap chase at Kempton today (16.00).
The gelding was a dual winner over hurdles who has come good at the second time of asking over fences when gamely scoring by a head at Exeter off a mark of 123.
Wizards Bridge got put up 8lb for that victory, but ran a blinder of his revised rating of 131 when a 3/4 length runner-up to Smooth Stepper at Newcastle.
Since then the seven-year-old has managed to make the frame just once in four starts, but that has resulted in the handicapper cutting him some slack.
Wizards Bridge is now able to race off 127, and connections have put up Harry Cobden in the saddle who is good value for his 5lb claim.
Taking it into account, Wizards Bridge is running off 1lb lower than when last successful and that gives the son of Alflora major claims from a handicapping perspective on the pick of his form.
See The Rock holds solid claims
In the 2m 5f handicap hurdle (16.30), See The Rock is a fascinating contender now returned to a quicker surface.
The gelding had some useful form on the flat in Germany when winning four times, and shaped with plenty of promise on debut over hurdles for trainer Jonjo O’Neill when sixth at Plumpton.
See The Rock duly built on that experience to open his hurdling at Market Rasen back in December, showing a good attitude to come from four lengths down on the run-in and beat the now 137-rated Final Nudge by a short-head.
That form looks solid and suggests See The Rock is potentially well-treated off a mark of 122.
Although the six-year-old has not been at his best in two subsequent starts, they have both been in very testing conditions and the return to better ground is likely to see him in a far better light.
14.00: Marju’s Quest
14.30: Swansea Mile
15.00: Surging Seas
15.30: Morning Herald
16.00: Wizards Bridge (NAP)
16.30: See The Rock (NB)
17.00: Twirling Magnet
Towering can rise to the occasion at Ludlow
Towering has some solid form to his name and can take advantage of what looks a lenient mark to land the 3m handicap hurdle on today’s card at Ludlow (3.40).
The Nicky Henderson trained gelding had won three of his six starts over the obstacles, and in the last of those showed a good attitude to score on seasonal reappearance at Cheltenham back in October.
Towering found plenty when challenged to beat Mile House by a neck in a competitive 16-runner contest off a mark of 120, and went on to finish a fine fifth of 23 to Unowhatimeanharry in a hot contest at the same venue the following month when weakening after the last to be beaten nine lengths.
Unowhatimeanharry is a very useful sort who has won all four of his subsequent starts, including the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham Festival, and is now rated 152.
Towering also finished just a head behind the fourth home Fingerontheswitch who has also won since to be rated 138.
Given that he was closely matched with those two in the weights on the day, it makes Towering’s current mark of 122 look very exploitable.
Kilbree Kid can kick rivals into touch
In the 3m handicap chase (15.10), last year’s winner Kilbree Kid looks weighted to go in again.
The Tom George trained gelding stayed on strongly 12 months ago to beat Aerial by 1 3/4 lengths off a mark of 121, and went on to follow-up at Perth off 128.
Kilbree Kid was also ran very well to be beaten just 1/2 a length when runner-up at Perth off 132, and is now able to race off a much reduced rating of just 117.
That is a career-low and gives the nine-year-old outstanding claims at the weights.
Although Kilbree Kid has not been at his best this season, the son of Cloudings hinted at a revival last time out when running better than the final finishing of fifth suggests and is now simply too well-treated to ignore if building on that.
14.10: Ozzie The Oscar
14.40: Laser Hawk
15.10: Kilbree Kid (NB)
15.40: Towering (NAP)
16.10: North Hall
16.40: Coeur Tantre
17.45: Coup De Pinceau