Kempton Preview: Annacotty the ace in the pack
Annacotty’s career-best performance over fences came at Kempton, and the gelding holds leading claims of make a winning reappearance in the 2m 4f graduation chase there today (3.10).
The Martin Keighley trained gelding made all and ran on strongly to slam the highly regarded Green Flag by 10 lengths in the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase over 3m, and it was a performance which suggested he had a big future over fences.
The six-year-old backed up that run with a solid second at Chepstow, and was then far from disgraced when last seen in action and finishing eighth of 15 to O’faolins Boy in the RSA at the Cheltenham Festival.
The return to this venue, where Annacotty has won twice from three starts, is sure to suit and the strapping son of Beneficial looks the type who will make up into a really smart second season chaser.
With the in-form Richard Johnson in the saddle, Annacotty can take this en-route to better things.
Johnson also partners Royal Regatta for his boss Philip Hobbs in the 2m 5f handicap hurdle earlier on the card (2.35) and the gelding looks weighted to run a huge race.
The six-year-old looked a top notch prospect when winning his bumper by 12 lengths, and did nothing to dispel that theory in his first two runs over hurdles.
Royal Regatta made virtually all to beat Spirit Of Shankly by 1 1/2 lengths at Aintree on the first occasion, and then followed up in impressive fashion at Leicester where despite running keen and hitting three out he pulled readily clear to score by nine lengths in the style of a well above average novice.
Things didn’t go right for Royal Regatta in three subsequent runs, but it remains early days for the son of King’s Theatre and he should be capable of winning races off his current mark of 130.
In the 2m 4f handicap chase (3.40), Berties Desire can get back on the winning trail.
The Oliver Sherwood trained gelding has a progressive profile over fences, and after opening his account at Huntingdon showed tremendous battling qualities to follow-up over course and distance last April.
The six-year-old looked as good as ever when runner-up on seasonal reappearance in a class 3 contest at Wincaton, and now gets into this lower grade class 4 affair off just 1lb higher.
Berties Desire is also entitled to strip much fitter with that run under his belt, and granted a clear round is going to be tough to beat.
1.35: Brother Tedd
2.05: Buck Magic
2.35: Royal Regatta (NB)
3.10: Annacotty (NAP)
3.40: Bertie’s Desire
4.15: Presenting Arms