Kempton Preview: Lake’s chances are Crystal clear
The progressive Crystal Lake looks one step ahead of the assessor and can make light of a rise in the weights to complete the hat-trick in the 1m handicap that closes an excellent all-weather card (5.10).
The Ralph Beckett trained colt has won both starts this season, starting off with a comfortable 1 1/4 length success over 7f at this venue.
The son of Verglas followed-up with a smooth one length success over Shot In The Sun in a mile handicap at Ripon, travelling strongly throughout and only having to be driven out to score with more in hand than the winning margin suggests.
The first two home pulled 4 1/2 lengths clear of the third to give the form a solid look, and Crystal Lake is clearly improving at a rate of knots and needs keeping onside.
I will be surprised if a 6lb rise is enough to stop Crystal Lake going in again judged on the manner of that success.
In the 7f handicap (3.10), the booking of Richard Hughes to partner Glanely catches the eye.
The gelding won a handicap at Wolverhampton last season off a mark of 73 when trained by James Fanshawe, and went on to finish a solid fourth of 13 to Whipper Snapper at Newbury off 78.
Now in the care of Martyn Meade, Glanely has had just two runs this season and shaped well on both occasions despite not troubling the judge.
The son of Exceed And Excel should now be spot on to do himself justice, and from a good draw in stall three looks sure to go well in the hands of Hughes off a mark just 3lb higher than when last successful.
Newmarket trainer David Lanigan has a strike rate of 28.5% with his runners at the venue in the past 12 months, and his Warrior Of Light looks to have major claims of landing the spoils in the 1m 3f handicap (3.40).
The son of High Chaparral caught the eye on his debut over a mile at this track when keeping on to finish sixth of 11 to Marzocco, and then looked a horse to follow when landing a 12-runner maiden here over a mile in taking fashion.
Warrior Light travelled strongly on the heels of the leaders in the latter, and after being ridden to lead at the furlong marker quickened clear to put the race to bed in a matter of strides.
Although the winning margin was only a length, that doesn’t truly reflect how much Warrior Light had in hand.
The three-year-old looks a really exciting prospect, and an opening handicap mark of 84 could well be on the lenient side.
2.10: Colour Catcher
3.40: Warrior Of Light (NB)
4.40: Don’t Stare
5.10: Crystal Lake (NAP)