Talking Horses: Monday’s best bets for Kempton and Taunton

Greg Wood
The Guardian
<span class="element-image__caption">Kempton host a meeting of all-weather racing at the track on Monday.</span> <span class="element-image__credit">Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images</span>
Kempton host a meeting of all-weather racing at the track on Monday. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

When to give up on a horse that you have been following? In the case of The Warrior (4.30), it was probably at least four runs ago, but Amanda Perrett’s gelding gets one more, very final chance to show that he has another victory in him when he goes to post for an eight-furlong handicap at Kempton Park on Monday.

The Warrior’s 19 starts to date have yielded just a single success, back in March 2015 on his three-year-old debut when he was still trained by Aidan O’Brien. With only a few exceptions, O’Brien’s cast-offs tend to spend the rest of the racing careers underlining their former trainer’s good judgement, but The Warrior threatened to be an exception in his first three runs for Perrett last spring.

His most eye-catching run was at Goodwood last May, when he was caught in a hopeless position in the final stages with nowhere to go at all. He kept on to finish a close sixth with running left. He was left at the gates on his next start, however, and his season deteriorated rapidly from there.

There are a few reasons to retain some faith this time, however. His mark has dropped steadily, to 84 from 94 in 10 months, and The Warrior also returned from a seven-month break with a very promising run at Lingfield last time out. He attracted some money before that run, and possibly saves his best form for the early months of the campaign. If so, a drop back to Class Four company this afternoon could finally do the trick.

Athassel (5.30) should also go well at a fair price on the Kempton card. He is on the brink of a rapid four-timer, having completed a hat-trick under a double penalty at Chelmsford four days ago and his winning time suggests that a further 4lb rise in the weights is not beyond him.

The jumps cards at Taunton and Southwell have something of a between-the-Festivals feel about them, but Hint Of Mint (3.50) has a very solid chance at around 100-30 in a decent handicap hurdle down in the west country while Camron De Chaillac (3.40), at around 13-2, should go well in the most competitive race of the day at Southwell.

Monday’s tips

Taunton 2.20 Bags Groove 2.50 High Secret 3.20 A Little Magic 3.50 Hint Of Mint 4.20 Bajardo 4.50 Milord

Southwell 2.10 Unzing 2.40 Mister Grez 3.10 Bobo Mac 3.40 Camron De Chaillac 4.10 Dothraki Raider 4.40 Witham

Kempton Park 2.00 Moayadd 2.30 Betsalottie 3.00 Tidal’s Baby (nb) 3.30 Double Spin 4.00 Ashwaq 4.30 The Warrior 5.00 Light Of Air 5.30 Athassel (nap)

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