Palmer’s Hill is a horse worth keeping an eye on. He could well be in with a shout for one of the handicaps at Cheltenham. He hasn’t been seen for over 15 months but was well backed in his last start at Cheltenham, which he won.
He’s definitely one to keep tracking for the Festival, and has young Jonjo O’Neill Jr riding him on Saturday.
Commanche Red will take a bit of beating here. He won a handicap by nine lengths from Simply The Betts at Kempton on Boxing Day and I think he’ll win here again.
Simply The Betts has since gone up and third-place On The Slopes and fourth Mr McGo have gone up too, so the form is really solid. On his only other start at Kempton back in February 2018, he beat Beakstown.
I think he can repeat the trick, and I’m making Commanche Red my best bet of the weekend.
I’m willing to take a chance on Elgin.
He won this race when it was at Wincanton in 2018 and has since had a wind op and been off the track for 18 months, bar a few runs on the flat in the summer two years ago.
He was fifth in the Champion Hurdle in 2018 on his last hurdle start and I think Alan King will have him ready for this.
He’s won at Kempton before so I’d take a punt on him at a good price.
One I’d take a chance on is Dr Richard Newland’s Benson. He won on his second start for the doctor in a bumper at Market Rasen back in November and was fourth behind Israel Champ in December at Ascot.
Israel Champ is around third favourite for the Champion Bumper. Kid Commando runs here as well, who was fifth in that race.
His hurdles debut at Sandown was a bit odd. He was put in at 66/1, so basically a no-hoper, but he had every chance at the second last when he unseated.
It wasn’t a great race so he could have been flattered, but he put in a massive effort there. I think he could have a chance here and would be a decent each/way shout.
I think Kildisart is worth a look here with a bit of better ground. He’s had no wins in his last three outings but was a very impressive winner before that at Aintree in April last year.
On both starts at Kempton before he’s run really well, so with a bit of better ground I think he could run a really good race. We’re paying five places in the race so he’d give you a good chance each/way.