Southwell And Kempton – Premier Racemeetings Today

Kempton first due off @ 15h15

Both Southwell and Kempton host Premier Raceday meetings today.

The concept, undertaken by British Racing, attempts to market and promote racing in the UK by providing television coverage and increased prize money at the weekend venues.

Lord North looks ‘well in’ (Pic – Racing Post)

At Southwell, a strong field of six contest the day’s feature, the Gr3 BetUK Winter Derby (17h20). Run over 11-furlongs on the tapeta, Godolphin’s Military Order and Tyrrhenian Sea have realistic chances, but Lord North looks ‘well in’ here.

The Gosden trained runner is rated far superior to his rivals and the weights are massively in his favour. The stable is in great form and this drop-in class can only be a positive.

Three Group 2 races highlight the Kempton card on Saturday.

Paul Nicholls saddles Kalif Du Berlais in the Coral Adonis Juvenile Hurdle (15h50). This unbeaten course and distance winner is highly regarded by the champion trainer and should be involved here, but a chance is taken with Givemefive.

Also unbeaten in two starts, the Harry Derham trained juvenile was so slick over his hurdles at Warwick last month, front-running under a penalty, and winning easing up by 18-lengths. He receives 5lbs from the favourite and may be hard to catch.

Nicky Henderson has his yard in fine form at present and Arclight can continue her winning run this season with a four-timer in the Gr2 Coral Pendil Novices’ Chase (16h27).

The mare has been electric over fences so far. She was too good for Marsh Wren at Wincanton in December, and the runner-up has subsequently won twice since, including a listed race in Ireland.

This is a step up taking on Tahmuras, but we haven’t seen the best of her yet and she receives a handy 6lb allowance from her main rivals.

On Sunday, the much-vaunted Ferny Hollow makes his long-awaited return at Naas after an injury enforced 791 days. The nine-year-old won the Gr1 Champion Bumper at Cheltenham in 2020 and was unbeaten in his following three starts including the Gr1 Novice Chase at Leopardstown on Boxing Day in 2021.

That Willie Mullins has persevered with him for so long speaks volumes and with Paul Townend aboard, the Cheveley Park owned runner should have too much class for his five rivals in the 2-mile Gr3 Newlands Chase (16h55).

Top-weight, the 159 rated Ash Tree Meadow has to concede 9lbs to the selection, which will be even tougher on the soft to heavy ground.


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