Tony Calvin’s on the Diamond trail at Kempton
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I didn’t expect to get a tip out of the three Kempton races on ITV but, as much as I tried, I couldn’t resist Diamond Bay at 5.59/2 or bigger in the 1m3f handicap at 15:30.
It is certainly not my usual kind of price – and Zero Ten was another example on Saturday of me being a poor judge of a short price in competitive handicaps – but I would probably have him nearer a 3/1 chance in this, so the 4s with the Betfair Sportsbook is also acceptable in my book, if you want to play there.
Of course, this is a pretty deep race, and several have a squeak if returning to their best off falling marks or continuing their improvement they showed towards the end of last season, but Diamond Bay stands out.
Course lover looks hugely progressive
His form took off after winning off a lowly mark of 65 at Windsor in the summer, only for him to be foiled in his bid for a four-timer by Bascule over course and distance in October.
The strong suspicion is that he wasn’t at his best there (or seen to be, anyway) as he was always playing catch-up from a poor position entering the straight, but a detailed look at the race suggests he still posted an excellent performance.
The winner won his next two and is now rated 15lb higher and the fourth, Sky Power (who runs here) , also obliged on his next couple of outings.
Raised 3lb for that defeat, Diamond Bay absolutely bolted up in a 0-85 on his return here last month, making a compelling impression in a fair time, and a further 7lb hike in the weights was more than justified.
He obviously meets a better class of handicapper in this 0-105 but he clearly loves the track, he is hugely progressive, he seems tactically versatile, he has a run under his belt and he strikes me as a horse going places.
I have no opinion in the four-runner 3yo conditions’ race at 14:55, , and I was hoping for a bit bigger price before even considering Potapova in the seven-runner fillies’ race at 16:05, so over to Fairyhouse we go.
Step back in trip should suit Capilano
I’d be lying if I said I knew chapter and verse about low-grade 2m5f Irish handicap hurdlers but Folcano seemed to be the obvious one towards the top of the market at 13/2 with the Sportsbook in the 15:15 after his ninth in the Pertemps off a 6lb higher mark than this.
He is not straightforward but he is a course winner for whom the step down in trip is no problem, and he seems reasonably solid.
Lord Erskine is no forlorn hope as the outsider of the field at 40/1 , and I’d be interested in one of the reserves, Song Of Earth , got in, but I think Capilano Bridge has a pretty good each way chance at 16/1 with the Betfair Sportsbook.
He had a good 20/21 campaign, winning twice over 2m, and then performing well in defeat when stepping up in trip. In fact, he finished under 5 lengths fourth in this race off a 2lb higher mark last season before going on to finish second in a 25-runner handicap at Punchestown.
He showed his first worthwhile form since when fifth in first-time cheekpieces (retained here) over 3m at Cork last time, and I reckon that trip stretches his stamina, so the step down to 2m6f is in his favour.
I know nothing about the 7lb claimer Charlie O’Dwyer but he rode a winner for the stable last week, one of his six successes this season (as well as being on board this horse at Cork last time), so I am happy enough with that.
The horse’s record suggests deeper ground would be ideal, but at least the emphasis will be put less on stamina as a result.
Irish National too tough to call
I know it is the done thing to have an opinion in the big race of the day, in this case the Irish National at 17:00, but I am not going to risk my money or yours by making a token selection or two here.
Publishing a profit and loss keeps you honest and focused on that front, and you have to tip as you bet.
You’ll be doing well to find the first home from the ridiculous battalions from the JP McManus and Gigginstown ranks here, let alone the winner.
Last year’s sixth Off You Go, in first-time cheekpieces, was probably the pick of the exchange prices, along with the up-in-trip Early Doors at 24.023/1 – both JP horses – but neither have enough going for them in an obviously hugely competitive race for me to get the big betting stick out.