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Horse Racing Tips: Rhys Williams has a couple of selections at Kempton

Much better run following wind op

Kempton 17:40: Tommy Tracey 1pt win 6/1

Ballyblack is the odds-on favourite for this novices’ hurdle and while he’s shown a good level of ability I’m not sure that this race will suit him. He’s looked a horse who wants a strong pace to close into and doesn’t find as much under pressure as it looks like he will so a potentially steadily run race could play against him.

The horse leading the small field at that steady pace could be Tommy Tracey and I think he’s overpriced considering how well he ran at Ascot last time on his first start after a wind op.

After showing some ability in two Irish points, he joined Paul Webber and made his hurdling debut for him at Lingfield in November. After travelling well in a prominent position on the inside, he quickly lost his position turning down the hill and was eventually pulled up.

He had a wind op immediately after and was given a 131-day break before returning at Ascot. He moved into second early on and was still in that position, tracking Chavez, turning the final bend into the home straight. Pushed along, he couldn’t match that rival’s speed after 2 out but he kept finding for pressure to finish eleven lengths clear of the third.

This was a far more promising run from Tommy Tracey and one that showed the wind op has a significant positive impact. Given the usual running styles of the five runners, I expect that Richie McLernon will have the option to make the running without much pressure and if he’s able to set a fairly steady pace early on, that could play against Terresita who has raced keenly in the past.

He does have to show he can back up that good run at Ascot and it might be that this track won’t be ideal for him but I think there’s too much between him and the front two in the market and any 5/1 or bigger appeals.

Could take advantage of flaws in rivals

Kempton 19:40: Pointed And Sharp 1pt win w/o the fav 16/1

Gesskille has been backed into odds-on favourite in the closing hunter chase at Kempton and rightly so given he’s the solid option in a race where the others all have doubts over them. Those doubts have created an attractive opportunity in the without the favourite market.

West Approach now narrowly heads that market but he was disappointing at Exeter last time, the headgear now comes off and I’m far from convinced that he wants this much of a test of speed.

The distance may also not be ideal for Capitaine who I think wants two miles and no further. All of his best form recently has come over that trip and he only just clung on for victory last time. He’s looked a non-stayer over 2m4f in points so even if he gets left alone in front, I’m not convinced about him seeing out the trip.

Rewritetherules would be of obvious interest if able to bounce back to the best of his form in Ireland but it’s difficult to know what level he’s currently capable of running to. He’s joined David O’Brien this season and stopped to nothing with just under a circuit to go at Barbury Castle on his first start for new connections before finishing tailed off at Larkhill. However, he did show more promise last time at Cheltenham when he was still travelling quite well going across the top of the course for the final time before emptying quickly. That was an issue at times in Ireland which seemed to be helped by the application of a tongue tie and the lack of one here is a worry so while I wouldn’t be surprised if he runs well I can leave him at the price.

That leaves Pointed And Sharp who I think is overpriced in this market. He was a smooth traveller who didn’t always find much at the end of races and liked good ground in his time with Philip Hobbs and I think he’s the type of horse who could run above himself in points and hunter chases over sub-3m. On his only start for these connections at Milborne St Andrew, he was held up in last before making plenty of ground after turning out of the home straight and he went into third at 4 out. However, he had little left from 3 out and was quickly left behind by the front pair.

The drop back to this trip will suit him and it’s possible he could have a good pace to sit off if West Approach presses Capitaine for the lead.

It might be that he will once again find very little at the end of the race but he’s the only one in the race with no penalty to carry and given the doubts over the others I think he’s overpriced. Any 12/1 or bigger appeals.

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