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Kempton preview: Picket Line ready to strike

David Metcalf | December 2, 2015

Top Pick

Picket Line ran a blinder when runner-up last time out and can go one better to open his account in the 6f maiden on this evening’s card at Kempton (18.10).

The Geoffrey Deacon trained gelding has been placed in two of his three starts this year, and in the first of those in a handicap over course and distance stuck to the task well to be beaten by just 1/2 a length off a mark of 65.

Picket Line was then not at his best next time up at Newbury, but left that effort well behind when a fine second to Renounce in a 6f maiden at Lingfield when last seen in action.

The three-year-old was unsuited by a slow early pace, and was also forced to race wide before keeping on strongly inside the last to be beaten by just 1 1/4 lengths by a promising an unexposed sort.

Given how the race panned out it was a solid effort by Picket Line, and off an official rating of 73 he is the highest rated in the line-up.

The son of Multiplex should be more than up to winning a class 5 contest of this nature judge his latest run, and with Timmy Murphy in the saddle this looks a golden opportunity for Picket Line to bag a first success.

Opt for Afkar from afar

Newmarket
In the 7f handicap that closes proceedings (19.40), Afkar can take advantage of a drop in the weights to score an overdue success on debut for trainer Ivan Furtado.

The gelding has won just one of his 37 starts, with his sole success coming at Yarmouth back in August 2012 off a mark of 66 when under the care of Clive Brittain.

Afkar has since run well to make the frame on numerous occasions, including off a mark as high as 76. The seven-year-old is now able to race off a career-low rating of just 58, and that makes Afkar dangerously well-treated on the pick of his form.

If the switch to Furtado has freshened him up, Afkar looks weighted to take all the beating from a good draw in stall four.

Selections

16.05: Excellent Aim
16.40: Doctor Parkes
17.10: Rouge Noir
17.40: Mondial
18.10: Picket Line (NAP)
18.40: Frozen Force
19.10: Silver Lining
19.40: Afkar (NB)

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