1pt win De Kerry Man @6/1, 0.5pt EW West Wizard @12/1, 16:35 Kempton

Cernunnos went down by a nose at Doncaster last December, when he appeared to slightly idle with the race at his mercy. He probably improved on that effort as he discovered the winning thread in a fairly ordinary looking handicap at Leicester just over three weeks ago, but is landed with a 9lb rise for that 7l success. That seems a harsh penalty given the quality of that opposition on heavy ground, and at 100/30, we think he’s worth taking on.

DE KERRY MAN did not seem a horse that was out of his depth six weeks ago in the Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick, where he raced in completely bottomless ground. That was a Grd 3 contest over 3m6f, and having looked prominent with a mile or so to go, he faded very quickly before falling, suggesting a switch back to this shorter trip – which he has won at twice before – should suit.

It seems incredibly generous that the handicapper has eased him 3lbs for that run and is now dropped significantly in class racing off a mark of 122. His jockey’s claim effectively takes him down to his last winning handicap mark of almost one year ago on identical gd-sft ground conditions.

De Kerry Man had previously caught the eye, leading before unseating, in a race at Cheltenham on his seasonal debut, when he would’ve been short odds in-play to finish in the places. That form got a further boost last week with a victory for Beg To Differ who finished second in that race.

His front-running tactics should put pressure on the jumping of the favourite who also likes to be held up, and with a clear round, the 6/1 on offer looks much better value than the jolly.

Sam Twiston-Davies’s mount WEST WIZARD is also tempting and worth a bet at 12/1. This is his second start for Nigel’s yard as he seeks to successfully switch him in to a chaser from a Nicky Henderson hurdler.

He must have needed the run when putting on an average debut chase performance, but he looked smart on his final appearance for his previous yard with a win going clear here at Kempton in a novice hurdle.

His mark of 124 may yet underestimate him as he is sure to improve with an extra couple of months schooling under his bullet. His hurdle career also saw him finish second over C&D to Minello Rocco, when rated 136 so there is scope for his mark to improve. No doubt this run will be a better indicator of his talents, but given he remains unexposed, he is a worthy each-way punt.

1pt win De Kerry Man @6/1, 16:35 Kempton (various)
0.5pt ew West Wizard @12/1, 16:35 Kempton (william hill pay 1/5 odds first three places)



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