Skip to content

Lucky Loader Previews ITV Racing at Kempton, Newcastle and Southwell

There is something for everyone this weekend. We’ve got some quality action at Kempton, a marathon handicap at Newcastle, and the Winter Derby for the Flat fans at Southwell.


1.15 – Pentland Hills (Each Way)

The one I like here is Pentland Hills each way. I’ve been monitoring him over the past few weeks; after he had a few entries, I was hoping he might run in the Martin Pipe, but Nicky Henderson has decided to avoid Cheltenham. The last time we saw him, he showed he still has plenty of ability when finishing second off a big weight in a competitive handicap at Doncaster in December. He is now 2lb higher after that run, but the 5lb claim of conditional jockey Freddie Gordon will definitely help his cause here. I think he’s got a good chance of going close.

1.50  – Kalif Du Berlais (Win)

Kalif Du Berlais created a strong impression when winning on his British debut over this course and distance for Paul Nicholls last month. That looked to be a hot race, with the form being well advertised by the likes of Kado De Joie and Yellow Star winning in recent weeks. The four-year-old gelding will have to concede a 5-pound penalty to all his rivals, but that might not be enough to stop him here. If he were to win this well, connections might be tempted to run him in the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

2.27 – Arclight (Win)

There isn’t a standout candidate in this year’s Pendil Novices’ Chase. Paul Nicholls is the all-time leading trainer of the race, but his sole runner, Tamhuras, has been too in and out this season for me to recommend. That’s why I’m just going to give my marginal preference for Arclight. She’s taken to fences really well and is yet to taste over the larger obstacles, which included a win here at Kempton in October. The daughter of Champs Elysees might find it a bit tougher taking on the boys now up in grade, but she’ll be in receipt of the 7lb mares allowance, which could make all the difference.

3.00 – Helnwein (Each Way)

I don’t think there is too much between all of the eight runners in this race, and therefore I’m going to take a flyer with Helnwein each way at the prices. The six-year-old gelding was last seen finishing second in a Listed race at Sandown in December. Even though it was a small field, I don’t think he was suited by the tactical affair that day, and the stiff nature of the hurdles course didn’t play to his strengths. The flatter track at Kempton will be more up his street, and if you go back to win at Warwick, I think he’s got as much scope as any in the race. Alan King says they have big plans for him this spring, and this could well be the springboard for him to kick on.

3.37 – Tweed Skirt (Each Way)

Tweed Skirt bolted up when scoring at Kempton over the Christmas period, and it looks like Connection earmarked this race straight away. Since then, she has run over hurdles at Doncaster, where she wasn’t disgraced in third behind Marie’s Rock and You Wear It Well. The seven-year-old mare is 8lb higher this time around, but the way she won in December suggested she had plenty in hand. I think if she can replicate that run, she’s got a cracking chance.


2.08 – Tommie Beau (Each Way)

Tommie Beau has been a revelation for trainer Seamus Mullins this season over marathon trips, and he’s going to get my vote to win the Eider. He’s a horse that just stays all day and seems to handle any ground. The last time we saw him, he finished a decent second in the Sussex National at Plumpton, which has worked out well. I’m struggling to see him finishing outside the frame.


2.45 – Fine Wine (Each Way)

The favourite, Clarendon House, is way too short for this race, and I think it’s worth going elsewhere. Fine Wine shouldn’t be underestimated, as he has a particular liking for the 5f course at Southwell, winning there four times. You can put a line through his run in December as his trainer, Scott Dixon, had issues with his stables getting flooded and he had to move horses around, which seems to have affected their performance. However, in the last few weeks, the yard has been coming back to form. Fine Wine is a proper speed ball, and it’s quite likely he could get an easy lead. If he does get a fast start, he could take some catching.

3.20 – Military Order (Win)

Lord North has had a great record in this race in recent years, but with the race now moving to Southwell, that might not suit him, especially with the extra furlong. Military Order didn’t run too badly in the trial for this race last month, finishing second. That was a muddling race, and I think we are also entitled to strip fitter here with Charlie Appleby’s string in fine form. He was Godolphin’s number one pick going into the Epsom Derby last season, and I think he can do better as a four-year-old in 2024.

Bet Of The Day: 3.20 Southwell – Military Order

Read also...
There is something for everyone this weekend. We’ve got some quality action at Kempton, a marathon handicap at Newcastle, and the Winter Derby for the Flat fans at Southwell.
Read also...