ITV Racing Tips: Cap Du Nord can deliver big Kempton prize for Christian Williams
There is a mix of everything in the TV action this weekend with both jumps and Flat on the schedule.
From five-furlong sprinters on the all-weather to extreme stayers racing over four miles plus at Newcastle, the whole gamut of the sport is on display.
Anchoring the coverage will be racing from Kempton which hosts three Grade 3 races, which could produce a Cheltenham Festival contender or two, and the £150,000 Coral Trophy Handicap Chase.
Newcastle stages the latest edition of the Eider Chase, often an attritional contest which only the toughest survive. Plus, there is some decent action on the level at Lingfield where Lord North returns from nearly a year off in the Winter Derby.
Out of eight races, five will be beamed from Kempton, two from Lingfield and one from Newcastle. The coverage begins on ITV from 13:00 and we have previewed the three most significant races of the day in our ITV Racing Tips.
The Gosden stable has won the last three editions of this Group 3 race and last year’s winner Forest Of Dean is among the eight runners again.
Yet even he will have his work cut out to defend his crown now it has been chosen as the comeback race for Lord North. The Royal Ascot winner has not been seen since winning the Dubai Turf in Dubai last March and was due to run in Saudi Arabia this weekend until plans changed.
At level weights he should be too good for his opponents but he can’t afford to be too ring rusty with Alenquer, last year’s Juddmonte International runner-up, also in the field. Better over further, this 1m2f may be a bit sharp for the William Haggas runner and Lord North just too good.
Over a distance of four miles and a furlong, this is going to take some getting. But a near maximum 17-runner field is set to line up and give it a go.
They include Eclair Surf, who made nearly all the running to win the 3m5f Classic Chase at Warwick, and what looks a very capable challenger from Ireland in History Of Fashion. They appear the likely market frontrunners but have to overcome substantial ratings hikes for the latest wins.
Better treated appears to be Court Master, up only 2lb for a comfortable victory at this track last time. That was over three miles so his ability to get further is unproven, but he has never fallen and trainer Michael Scudamore has the right pedigree, having trained the winner in 2017.
This competitive 3m chase, perhaps best remembered as the Racing Post Chase, has a new backer and a bigger purse, but is slightly short of quality.
Nevertheless, it has clearly been in the sights of trainer Christian Williams for a time as he is set to saddle three runners. With two of his challengers, Five Star Getaway and Cap Du Nord, at the front of the betting he could well pull off a big win for his stable.
The question is with which one? His third runner Kitty’s Light, second in last year’s Bet365 Gold Cup, has gone well at Kempton previously, but was well beaten last time. Five Star Getaway was a course and distance winner in December which also featured his two stablemates.
Cap Du Nord started joint-favourite for that race but finished well beaten. He ran better at Doncaster last time and is now 19lb lower than when third in this race last year. It could be his turn.
ITV Racing Schedule, Saturday, 26th February
13:15 Kempton – 2m4f handicap chase
13:30 Lingfield – Hever Sprint Stakes
13:50 Kempton – Adonis Juvenile Hurdle
14:05 Lingfield – Winter Derby
14:25 Kempton – Pendil Novices’ Chase
15:00 Kempton – Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle
15:15 Newcastle – Eider Chase
15:37 Kempton – Coral Trophy Handicap Chase
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.