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Horse Racing

Saturday 26th February – Kempton Park & Newcastle

Saturday 26th February 13:15

WhichBookie racing analyst Will Smith previews a busy Saturday with selections at Kempton Park and Newcastle on Saturday 26th February.

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Bookie Selection Best Odds Market Bet
One True King 7/17/1 13.15 Kempton Park
each-way (3 places 1/5)
Place BetPlace Bet
Aucunrisque 7/27/2 15.00 Kempton Park
each-way (3 places 1/5)
Place BetPlace Bet
Annsam 7/17/1 15.37 Kempton Park
each-way (5 places 1/5)
Place BetPlace Bet
Our Power 9/19/1 15.37 Kempton Park
each-way (5 places 1/5)
Place BetPlace Bet
Domaine De L'Isle 10/110/1 15.15 Newcastle
each-way (6 places 1/5)
Place BetPlace Bet
Checkitout 12/112/1 15.15 Newcastle
each-way (6 places 1/5)
Place BetPlace Bet

Date of Tips: 25/02/2022

Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (19:35 25/02/2022) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.

Snowdrops, daffodils, milder weather and that unmissable whiff of spring in the air! March is just around the corner, and you know what that means, don’t you…?

But for now, a busy Saturday across all the various racing scenes occupies the mind, and the first port of call is the very first ITV televised race at Kempton Park at 1.15 – Coral ‘Fail To Finish’ Free Bets Handicap Chase, run over 2m4f.

Kempton Park is a notoriously well-defined type of track on drying spring ground, in that you need a horse that can jump and travel prominently at a tempo just one notch higher than is perhaps the case at other tracks.

It is a key reason why horses stepping up in trip here can be seen to such good effect, as they have been used to that slightly quicker early and mid-race tempo at shorter.

One True King is a horse that, I feel, has been crying out for 2m4f over fences on decent ground, and has been acquitting himself incredibly well in some of the hottest 2m handicap chases this season run in the depths of winter.

At 7/1 each-way with Paddy Power, One True King gets that set up for the first time since his seasonal debut, when it is assumed that he needed the run badly, and with Nigel Twiston-Davies horses continuing in such good form, he is a very solid each-way proposition in the Kempton Park 1.15.

Continuing at the Sunbury track, and having passed over the Adonis Juvenile Hurdle at 1.50 and the Pendil Novices’ Chase at 2.25, the Sky Bet Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle at 3.00 features the next Saturday selection.

Shallwehaveonemore is a very talented and progressive novice hurdler, and will be a tough nut to crack, along with other potential improvers Frere D’Armes, Iceo and Moriko De Vassy. But I can’t help feel that at 7/2/ each-way with Paddy Power, Chris Gordon’s Aucunrisque should be much closer to Shallwehaveonemore as market leader.

Aucunrisque has developed immensely this season, both in terms of quality of performance and also levels of tractability and maturity. He’s gone from hanging his chance away in a couple of hot Cheltenham bumpers, to the professional, cruisey model that we saw sluice up in a Wincanton handicap last time.

Make no mistake, given another step forward again, and Aucunrisque might just be the one they all have to beat, so at 7/2 each-way with Paddy Power he is worth supporting.

On to one of the mega-valuable feature races of the day – Coral Trophy Handicap Chase at 3.37 at Kempton Park. I am staying true to my mantra of wanting to side with horses that travel and jump easily close to the pace, and the first and most notable selection is Annsam at 7/1 each-way with Paddy Power, who offer a nice 5 places.

Having seen him blow apart a similarly competitive race at Ascot before Christmas on just his fifth chase start, Evan Williams no doubt etched this race, worth just over £85k to the winner, into Annsam’s personal diary ever since.

Always going well and jumping neatly at Ascot, those attributes will stand Annsam in good stead at Kempton Park, and given he was idling in the closing stages, there could be a sizable amount left in his locker. He deserves to be favourite, and is, but I felt being a point or two shorter was warranted, so at 7/1 each-way with Paddy Power, Annsam is on side.

Going back to the stepping up in trip at Kempton Park theory, and the other selection in the Coral Trophy Handicap Chase at 3.37 is trying 3m for the first time in his whole career. Given he started out over 7f on the flat, I guess that is hardly surprising.

Our Power represents one of the stories of the season in the training ranks, and Sam Thomas can deliver yet another big-race Saturday winner for his main boss Dai Walters. Our Power’s pedigree is nothing like that of a staying chaser, but having proved progressive up to 2m5f over hurdles, he has displayed significant potential since being sent over fences.

He has his own way of jumping, but he seems to warm to the task every time, and the immediate worry would be the first few fences. But if Charlie Deutsch, oozing with nous and confidence at the moment, can navigate the first two fences and be no worse than midfield, then we’ll be in business.

Our Power could improve a chunk for 3m, and has won twice over 2m4f at speed favouring tracks already this season, so at 9/1 each-way with Paddy Power, for those 5 places, he accompanies Annsam in the back pocket.

Talking of staying chases, and it would be remiss of me not to mention the grandfather of all staying chases – Vertem Eider Handicap Chase at Newcastle at 3.15. Usually a mighty old slog, this year’s renewal is set to also be run on drying ground, and could see classier types come to the fore.

There is no classier type in any race than the top weight, and having waded in with Domaine De L’Isle for Aintree’s Randox Grand National at 66/1, I was delighted to see him take up this engagement to test out his staying power.

Having had a spin over hurdles in January to keep ticking over, he is way overpriced at 10/1 each-way with Paddy Power for a whopping 6 places, to take home this not-to-be-sniffed-at prize of just over £42k.

It could be a good day for Nigel Twiston-Davies, as having sided with his One True King earlier at Kempton Park, I also think that Checkitout can outrun his odds of 12/1 each-way with Paddy Power in the Eider too.

Looking like a quintessential Twister grinder, first-time cheekpieces will help Checkitout travel, and I wouldn’t mind betting there’s not a horse in the field who improves as much as him for the extreme trip.

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