1pt win Oceane @14/1, 15:05 Kempton

Alan King saddles two for this two-mile novices’ hurdle at Kempton, with Barry Gerraghty taking the ride on Winter Escape in the McManus silks.

He was last seen a few weeks back easing home on the bridle to record back-to-back successes at Doncaster.

Bookies and punters alike seem to see that as the best form in the race as he trades odds-on, but it doesn’t look like he’s beaten much with no subsequent winners to frank the form.

King’s other runner, OCEANE, makes more appeal at the prices.

He’s returning from a winter break due to his preference for good ground, and it’s good to soft today at Kempton so he should give a better account of himself than when, back in November, he was last seen trailing Wolf Of Windelsham home by nine lengths at Cheltenham.

Kempton is a very different, tight and flat track compared to the hills of Cheltenham and it’s possible it didn’t bring out the best in him, whereas he’s already a winner at Kempton.

A striking piece of form is a length reverse to multiple-Group One flat winner Simple Verse, so it’s hard to doubt his class.

He gets in at a nice weight for this and, at 14/1, he looks a nice price also.

The other one I like is Welsh Shadow, whose standout piece of form would be a two-length defeat by hot Neptune-favourite Yanworth.

He followed that up with a cosy win at Haydock before finding Yorkhill too good in Grade 1 company, at a time where – allegedly – the Skelton stable was under a cloud.

That was raced on horrible, heavy ground, though, and his bumper win on good ground suggests he’ll appreciate today’s conditions at Kempton, so a return to his Haydock form should see him run a big race.

I wouldn’t put you off a bet at 11/2, but as he concedes 9lbs to the selection I’ll pass him this time and swear lots when he wins.

1pt win Oceane @14/1, 15:05 Kempton

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