In the £10 Free Bet at 32RedSport.com Handicap (7.10), the very lightly-raced 7-year-old Kalahari is an interesting contender, having already plied his tried in France, Germany and Britain in his seven-race career. The Halling gelding won maiden over 1 mile 2 furlongs at Nottingham for Lucy Wadham before a second spell with Hanover-based Irishman Paul Harley, uncle of jockey Martin, but returned to the Newmarket trainer in January.
Indeed, Kalahari wasted no time, getting off the mark on Polytrack at the first time of asking in a 0-65 contest, over course and distance, three weeks ago. He steps up to 0-75 company off a 6lb higher mark, but is entitled to improve for that run, his first since May, and may be capable of following up. Interestingly, Martin Harley, who won on him last time and has a 1-3 (33%) strike rate for the yard on the all-weather, once again takes the ride. Obviously, Kalahari has had his problems, but he still has time to prove significantly better than his current mark.
Selection: Kempton 7.10 Kalahari to win
In the 32Red Sidney Banks Memorial Novices’ Hurdle (3.05) at Huntingdon on Thursday, North Hill Harvey had his limitations exposed by Barters Hill on his hurdling debut over course and distance in November, but was eased down in the closing stages and his effort looks all the better for the subsequent exploits of the unbeaten winner in any case.
North Hill Harvey, himself, made no mistake on his only subsequent start, readily quickening clear to beat Baden by 4½ lengths in a Class 3 novices’ hurdle over 2 miles 1 furlong at Cheltenham in December. Admittedly, the runner-up was eventually soundly thrashed by Yanworth and company in the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle over 2 miles 4½ furlongs at Cheltenham 11 days ago, but only faded on the run-in in what was, after all, a much, much better race.
North Hill Harvey steps back up in class and distance under a 4lb penalty but, now officially rated 140, he fully deserves his place in the field. He has plenty of stamina in his pedigree, being by Kayf Tara out of a Roberto mare, and remains open to any amount of improvement on just his third start under rules.
Selection: Huntingdon 3.05 North Hill Harvey to win