Old Guard and Mystical Knight among Saturday tips for Kempton and Warwick
David Metcalf | 14 January 2017
Coral horse racing experts give their Kempton and Warwick tips for January 14, with Old Guard odds and Mystical Knight bets among those fancied to score this Saturday.
Old Guard odds hot stuff for Lanzarote at Kempton
Old Guard looks decent value to cash-in on a drop in the weights and class to land the valuable Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle at Kempton (14:40).
Trained by Paul Nicholls, the six-year-old enjoyed a terrific 2015 when winning three times at Cheltenham.
In the second of those, Old Guard gave Superb Story 9lb and a two-length beating in the ultra-competitive Greatwood Handicap Hurdle.
The runner-up went on to land the Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, so the form has a rock solid look to it.
Well-treated now eased in grade
Old Guard went on to land the Grade 2 International Hurdle when beating Sempre Medici by a length off an official rating of 157, and was far from disgraced last time out in the same race when third to The New One.
This represents a drop in class and the selection is now able to race off what looks a very exploitable mark of 153.
Nicholls also knows what is required to win the race, having saddled Nycetos and Saphir Du Rheu to land the spoils in 2007 and 2014 respectively.
Old Guard odds say he can make his class tell to defy top weight of 11st 12lb to provide the Ditcheat handler with a third Lanzarote victory.
Vaniteux poised for victory
Vaniteux has some top-class form to his name and can get back to winning ways in the 2m 4f chase (14:05).
This Nicky Henderson trained gelding has always been held in high regard and developed into a very useful novice chaser last season.
After scoring in terrific style on his chasing debut at this venue, Vaniteux went on to land the the Grade 2 Lightning Novices’ Chase at Doncaster where he only had to be driven out to beat Arzal by 3 3/4 lengths.
Arzal went on to bolt-up in a Grade 1 at Aintree. The third home, Fox Norton, who was beaten a further 10 lengths, has developed into a top-class 2m chaser this season, meanwhile, and is currently second-favourite for the 2017 Queen Mother Champion Chase.
Promising return to action at Ascot
The selection then ran in the Arkle Challenge Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival and was still bang in contention when only 1 1/2 lengths behind eventual winner Douvan, as he blundered and unseated his rider two from home.
Vaniteux was allotted what looked a lenient opening handicap mark of 154 on the back of those efforts. He ran very well off it on seasonal reappearance when a five-length third to subsequent Tingle Creek runner-up Sire De Grugy in a hot contest at Ascot.
The eight-year-old backed that up with a solid third in a competitive affair at Cheltenham and, with underfoot conditions to suit, this looks a glorious opening form him to get back on the scoresheet.
Kempton tips for Saturday, January 14
13.30: Alpha Male
14.05: Vaniteux (NB)
14.40: Old Guard (NAP)
15.45: Meet The Legend
Mystical Knight bets can rise to the occasion at Warwick
Mystical Knight scored in terrific style on seasonal reappearance and can take the step up into Listed company in his stride to land the 3m Hampton Novices’ Chase on a competitive card at Warwick (13:50).
The gelding was a dual point winner in Ireland, who scored in runaway style on his debut under rules for trainer Rebecca Curtis when landing a Warwick bumper by 23 lengths.
Mystical Knight then shaped with plenty of promise when runner-up to the smart Open Eagle on hurdles debut at the same venue, before going one better to land a novice hurdle at Navan when showing a smart turn of foot.
The seven-year-old then found Grade 1 company too hot when pulled-up at Aintree, but the fact that connections thought him good enough to compete at that level speaks volumes.
Impressive start to chasing career
Mystical Knight is clearly held in high regard and looked the type that had the size and scope to make up into a smart chaser this season.
That view was confirmed when he ran out an an easy five-length winner over Chef D’oeuvre at Hereford last month.
Mystical Knight jumped well and travelled strongly throughout to score with tons in hand, and it was a performance which suggested he was an exciting recruit to chasing ranks who needed keeping firmly onside.
Peregrine Run fancied to land five-timer
Irish raider Peregrine Run is progressing at a rate of knots and looks the answer to the Grade 2 Neptune Investment Management Novices´ Hurdle (15:00).
The Peter Fahey trained seven-year-old has taken his form to a new level this season and is unbeaten in four starts.
In the last of those, Peregrine Run came from off the pace before staying on strongly to beat Wholestone by a length in the Grade 2 Hyde Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.
The runner-up is a highly regarded sort, who has since gone on to land a Grade 2 at the same venue, and the pair pulled 3 1/2 lengths clear of the field to give the form a solid look.
Judged on the manner of that success, the selection is on a serious upward curve and, with Roger Loughlan – who has a 66 per cent strike rate on him – once again in the saddle, Peregrine Run can take this en route to even better things.
Warwick tips for Saturday, January 14
13.15: Keel Haul
13.50: Mystical Knight (NAP)
14.25: Lough Derg Leader
15.00: Peregrine Run (NB)
15.35: Doctor Harper
16.05: The Floating Bear