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Kempton Preview: Bertie’s Desire poised to follow-up

Bertie’s Desire landed a gamble in facile fashion last time out and looks capable of defying a 10lb rise in the weights to follow-up in the 3.15.

The Oliver Sherwood-trained gelding found the frame in his first three starts over fences before opening his account with a 15 length success at Huntingdon last month.

Six-year-old Bertie’s Desire led two from home that day and pulled effortlessly clear before the last to win, easing down in the manner of a horse that was well-ahead of the handicapper.

The son of King’s Theatre should be more than capable of victory from his revised mark of 102 judged on that success, and under similar conditions looks sure to take all the beating in the hands of Grand National winning jockey Leighton Aspell.

Elswhere on the card, jockey Barry Geraghty looks to have a great chance of landing a double, courtesy of Desoto County and Act Alone.

The former runs in the 2.40 and got off the mark over hurdles at the second time of asking when easily beating Mohawk Ridge by 3 1/2 lengths at Kelso.

Trained by Donald McCain, the gelding then ran an even better race last time out when chasing home the useful Irish Cavalier at Bangor, where he stayed on well after a slow jump three from home to be beaten by just 1/2 a length.

The pair finished 20 lengths clear of the third, and the form looks very strong in the context of this contest.

Act Alone is trained by Geraghty’s boss Nicky Henderson and looks to have been found an excellent opportunity to get back to winning ways in the 3.50.

The five-year-old finished placed in two bumpers before making an impressive winning debut over hurdles over 2m 4f at Doncaster where he won easing down by 14 lengths.

Act Alone then disappointed slightly when just third at Market Rasen last time out, but may well have found the drop back in trip to 2m 3f against him.

Today’s 2m 5f journey should see him in a far better light, and the form of his Doncaster win sets a very high standard in this grade.

For those looking for a lively outsider, Kilmurvy looks decent each-way value in the handicap hurdle at 4.50.

The six-year-old ran really well to finish third in this contest 12 months ago, staying on well to be beaten 3 1/2 lengths off a mark of 124.

Trained by Jeremy Scott, the gelding finished 2 1/2 lengths behind runner-up Irish Buccaneer and is now set to meet that rival on 2lb better terms.

That suggests there should not be much between them, and Kilmurvy comes into the race on the back of a string of solid efforts in decent handicaps, which entitle him to be really competitive of his current mark of 125.