Kempton Preview: Chief can collect on handicap debut

Trainer David Pipe does very well with horses making their handicap debut, and Our Chief can take advantage of what looks a lenient opening mark to land the 2m 5f hurdle contest on today’s seven-race card at Kempton (15.45).

The gelding has only had five starts under rules and caught the eye on his debut over hurdles when a tenderly handled fourth of 17 to Master Malt over 2m 1f at Exeter.

After being held up at the rear, the six-year-old made headway approaching the fourth to track the leaders and hold every chance until weakening two from home to be beaten 18 3/4 lengths.

The winner has developed into a decent sort rated 144, and the second and third home are now rated 118 and 120 respectively.

That is decent form in the context of this contest and makes Our Chief look potentially very well treated off rating of just 102 now stepped up in trip.

The son of Old Vic is bred to come into his own in stamina tests, and it’s also interesting that connections are now fitting Our Chief with the cheekpieces for the first time.

If the headgear has the desired effect, then Our Chief could potentially make a mockery of his opening handicap mark and run his rivals ragged off bottom weight of 10st 8lb in the hands of in-form jockey Tom Scudamore.

In the 3m handicap chase (15.10), Dursey Sound is a very interesting contender having dropped markedly in the weights.

The Jonjo O’Neill trained gelding landed a class 2 contest at Southwell last August when easily beating Tindaro by two lengths off a mark of 130, and went on to finish a cracking second of 12 to Mart Lane in a Listed class 1 handicap chase at Market Rasen off 138.

Dursey Sound got put up to 141 after the latter, and has failed to trouble the judged in five subsequent starts.

However, that has resulted in the seven-year-old being given a helping hand by the assessor and he is now able to race in this lower grade class 3 contest off 131.

That is just 1lb higher than when last successful and gives Dursey Sound major claims from a handicapping perspective now getting the good ground that he relishes.

13.30: Rock N Rhythm
14.00: Art Mauresque
14.35: West Wizard
15.10: Dursey Sound (NB)
15.45: Our Chief (NAP)
16.20: Claret Cloak
16.50: Gold Medal