Kempton and Newton Abbot previews: Al Khafji to deliver under Dettori
David Metcalf | May 25, 2016
Al Khafji the ace in the pack at Kempton
Al Khafji has a progressive profile and can cash-in on what looks a lenient mark to make a winning return to action in the 1m 3f handicap on this evening’s card at Kempton (19.50).
The Luca Cumani trained gelding showed steady improvement in four runs as a juvenile and created a good impression when rounding off the campaign with a smooth victory on handicap debut over 7f at Lingfield.
After being held-up travelling strongly, Al Khafji was switched right to deliver a challenge a furlong from home and showed a smart turn of foot to win going away by 1 1/2 lengths.
The son of New Approach was well on top at the finish, and it was a most taking performance which suggested he needed keeping firmly onside.
Although up 8lb for that victory, Al Khafji is bred to be much better than his current rating of 78 and looks the type that could take off as a three-year-old now upped in trip.
With Frankie Dettori in the saddle he can take this en route to better things.
Yeeoow ready to cut a dash
In the 6f handicap (20.20), the in-form Yeeoow looks decent value to gain a deserved success.
The Karl Burke trained gelding is a course and distance winner who has been running consistently well this year and is nicely treated on the pick of his form.
After two solid efforts to finish in the frame over course and distance, Yeeoow ran a blinder to finish a close-up third of 12 to Terentum Star in a competitive class 2 contest at Newmarket off a mark of 85.
The seven-year-old was then far from disgraced when fourth in a similar grade at headquarters, and ran better than the bare result suggests when sixth at Ascot earlier in the month.
Yeeoow has since been dropped 3lb by the handicapper, and is now able to race off 82.
That is just 2lb higher than when last victorious and gives Yeeoow major claims at the weights now pitched back into class 3 company at a track which clearly suits.
18.20: Pike Corner Cross
19.20: Sovereign Bounty
19.50: Al Khafji (NAP)
20.20: Yeeoow (NB)
20.50: Fern Owl
Calin Du Brizais can collect at Newton Abbot
Calin Du Brizais ran a cracker when runner-up last time out and can go one better to open his account over fences in the 2m 5f handicap chase on this evening’s card at Newton Abbot (19.40).
The Nigel Hawke trained gelding has shown improved form of late and was unlucky to bump into a well-treated sort in Thoonavolla when beaten just a short-head at Worcester two weeks ago.
Calin Du Brizais travelled strongly throughout, and after making smooth headway from the rear to take up the running four from home looked all over the winner until getting chinned on the line.
It was an effort which suggested the five-year-old was ahead of the assessor, and although now 7lb higher in the weights the front two pulled miles clear of the third home to give the form a rock solid look.
Calin Du Brizais also remains unexposed after just three starts over the larger obstacles and open to plenty more improvement, and another plus is that he has the services of Tom Scudamore in the saddle who does well when teaming up with the yard.
Mia’s Storm to strike again
In the 2m 5f novices’ hurdle that get proceedings underway (18.10), Mia’s Storm can get the better of Aunty Anne to land the spoils for in-form trainer Alan King.
The mare won her sole start in an Irish point, and looked a smart prospect on debut for King when finishing runner-up in a Listed bumper at Huntingdon.
Things then didn’t go to plan in Mia’s Storm’s first two starts over hurdles on testing ground, but she showed those runnings to be all wrong when scoring in good style last time out at Wetherby following a break.
The six-year-old tracked the leaders before taking up the running two from home and drawing readily clear to score easily by six lengths.
It was a performance which suggested there was even better to come, and Mia’s Storm clearly appreciated the better ground.
With underfoot conditions once again in her favour, the daughter of September Storm is going to be a tough nut to crack.
Newton Abbot selections:
18.10: Mia’s Storm (NB)
19.10: Mango Cap
19.40: Calin Du Brizais (NAP)
20.10: Replacement Plan
20.40: Armaans Wish