In the Racing Post this week Steve Dennis has written a series of articles ('Evening Sessions') looking at selected evening meetings from around the country; today's piece about Kempton bemoans the lack of atmosphere at the Surrey track.
Yesterday evening, for the first time in quite a while, I watched a race in a bookmaker's shop. If Steve thinks there's no atmosphere at Kempton, he should have been in the Coral shop where I managed to catch the second half of the 6.25 from Worcester.
As I departed the deserted premises, a voice from somewhere beyond the counter pointedly exclaimed, 'That'll be one pound please!'
The comment must have been aimed at me - there was no else in the shop.
Have to smile, don't you?
There will be no lack of atmosphere at tomorrow's evening meeting at Stratford.
In the opening novices' handicap hurdle I'll back Peter Bowen's Vinnie My Boy. In the Weekender Stable Tour (3-7 April 2013) the handler said of his charge, 'He is a very smart horse...[who] has been handicapped on his soft-ground form but is better on faster.' Since that comment the horse has run twice, finishing third on both occasions on good to soft and soft ground. He should get quicker ground here and the application of first-time cheekpieces should help the concentration. The tissue shows 8/1 about Vinnie My Boy so I'll take an each-way interest at that price, though probably not at the Coral outlet mentioned above...
Well Mett ran well on his first try over the the larger obstacles in a beginners' chase at Wetherby 11 days ago; he'll stay the trip but faces a jolly stiff task giving weight to more experienced rivals in the 6.45.
The Class 2 chase and hurdle (at 7.45 and 8.15) look pretty competitive but course and distance winner Up To The Mark would be of interest in the 8.45 provided first-time blinkers can work their magic.
Clondaw Draft looks the one to beat in the bumper.