Kempton Preview: Doctor ready to deliver
Doctor Parkes was a massive eye-catcher last time out and looks weighted to take all the beating in the 5f handicap at Kempton today (3.20).
Trained by the ultra-shrewd Stuart Williams, the gelding signalled that his time was near when staying on from off the pace to finish a never nearer one length fourth of 10 to Diamond Charlie over course and distance 12 days ago.
The eight-year-old was doing all his best work at the finish without being unduly knocked about and now meets the runner-up Salavatore Fury, who had the run of the race, on 1lb better terms.
That should be enough to turn around the placings given how the race panned out, and Doctor Parkes’ current mark of 82 is just 1lb higher than when the son of Diktat was last successful in a decent contest on the turf at Goodwood back in June.
Prior to that victory Doctor Parkes’ previous win had come in a class 3 contest at Sandown in July 2013 off a mark of 92, so there is little doubt that the veteran is potentially very well-treated in this class 4 contest off his current rating.
Another plus is that his handler boasts a healthy strike rate of 22.5% with his runners at the track in the past 12 months (9 winners and 10 placed from 40 runners), and from a good draw in stall 1 everything suggests Doctor Parkes is the one to beat.
In the 1m 2f handicap that opens proceedings (2.20), Oratorio’s Joy can take advantage of a handy mark to land the spoils now partnered by Adam Kirby.
The Jamie Osborne trained filly has a good record on artifical surfaces, having won twice and been placed five times from 13 runs.
The last of those successes came at Wolverhampton off a mark of 72 and Oratorio’s Joy now gets into this off 2lb lower.
The four-year-old’s current mark of 70 is the same as when she landed a 1m 2f contest on the turf at Leicester four starts back, and gives the daughter of Oratorio major claims at the weights.
Oratorio’s Joy also comes into the race having shaped with plenty of promise when fifth of 10 in an apprentice handicap at Wolverhampton on her first run for 163 days, and now gets the services of Kirby in the saddle who rides the track extremely well.
Kirby also has a strike rate of 23.5% when teaming up with the yard in the past 12 months, and his booking to partner Oratorio’s Joy for the first time suggests connections mean business.
2.20: Oratorio’s Joy (NB)
2.50: Shackled N Drawn
3.20: Doctor Parkes (NAP)
3.50: Elysian Fields