Sport Preview: Dark Horses - Thurs 03rd Feb 2022

Dark Horses: Thurs 3rd Feb 2022

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1:50 Kelso – Kaizer

A winner of 3 of his 19 starts over hurdles, KAIZER has slowly been running himself into form this season and on the evidence of his last run at Newcastle 2-weeks ago he could be ready to win again.

He has come down to a mark of 106, which is 8lbs lower than for his last win at Carlisle in October 2020 and he has run well at Kelso in the past, including when winning a novice hurdle here by 15 lengths in 2019.

The Whillans yard have sent out 37 winners at Kelso and he should be suited by the forecast good ground. 2nd at Newcastle on 18th January, he made most of the running and was unlucky to be caught in the closing stages by the strong staying Stoney Rover, who was given a much more patient ride. The form of that race looks solid, with all the right horses filling the places and so he should go well again with a track and conditions in his favour.

2:50 Kelso – Without Conviction

When we look at the official ratings, WITHOUT CONVICTION has her work cut out in this race.

A rating of 105 leaves her with 9 and 17lbs to find with the other principles, though as it is a handicap, she does receive weight to allow for that. Neither Mount Melleray (122) or En Meme Temps (114) look overly well treated on their current marks and the big weights on their backs are unlikely to help.

By contrast, Without Conviction looks very well treated on her current mark, especially as she has been dropped 2lbs for her 3rd place finish at Newcastle last time out. Although she was beaten by 12-lengths, the winner and 2nd have both won since and that piece of form is easily the strongest on offer here. She remains very unexposed with just 3 starts over fences and is only 8lbs higher than when winning at Hexham in December.

Lucinda Russell’s team have an 80% RTF rate in the last 14 days and so she looks sure to go well on these terms.

3:20 Kelso – Lucky Flight

Another Lucinda Russell inmate for our final selection, with LUCKY FLIGHT of obvious interest at his favourite track.

His form figures at Kelso currently read 1,1,2,2 and as he is now 5lbs lower than for his last win at Perth in August 2020, he makes a lot of appeal in an open race. He finished 2nd in a Class 3 over this course and distance in December, when he perhaps hit the front too soon and was outstayed on the run-in by the progressive Cedar Hill.

The 4th placed horse, The King of May has won since at Sedgefield to boost the form and with another 1lb back from the handicapper, Lucky Flight must be of interest dropped in grade.

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