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Matchbook VIP Chase Preview – Saturday 17th March

Last updated: March 16, 2018 by Leon Marshal

Kempton Park stages a good quality National Hunt meeting on Saturday with the action set to begin at 1.30. The two big handicaps on the card have attracted over 500 entries due to the proximity to the Cheltenham Festival. Running plans for those events are impossible to predict but the Matchbook VIP Chase at 2.05 looks a more attractive betting proposition..

A horse jumping a hurdle at Kempton Park

Deauville Dancer tops the weights at Kempton

The weights are headed by Deauville Dancer, a seven-year-old gelding by Tamayuz. He reeled off a hat-trick of victories prior to a disappointing run in the valuable Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham. He was racing against experienced chasers that day and was well beaten behind Guitar Pete. He is 7lbs higher than when successful at Doncaster in December.

Copain De Classe represents the powerful Paul Nicholls stable. He is a six-year-old French-bred gelding by Enrique and the winner of a match race at Fontwell last time. His lone rival got no further than the second fence so that race told us very little. His only previous run over fences resulted in a third behind Benatar at Ascot in November. He is racing off the same handicap mark and has plenty of scope for improvement.

Kayf Blanco is yet to win in seven races over fences for Graeme McPherson. He has been placed in the last five, most recently when beaten a neck by Favorito Buck’s at Kempton. He was only beaten a neck that day and lost out by the same margin when third at Wetherby previously. His turn cannot be far away.

Valhalla chases hat-trick for Tizzard

Colin Tizzard also entered the hat-trick seeking Valhalla for the more valuable handicap chase later on the Kempton card. The eight-year-old has won his last two races over two miles and this looks the more suitable option. He was awarded the race at Exeter in January when the odds-on favourite took the wrong course. Valhalla did not need any assistance from the stewards at Wincanton next time when beating Persian Delight by two and a half lengths. He is only 3lbs higher on Saturday and has to be respected.

Derintoher Yank raced keenly last time out when fading to finish third to Delegate at Musselburgh. That followed a 74-day break after finishing second to Deauville Dancer. He is 8lbs better off with the winner and should finish closer this time.

Prairie Town has one win from four starts over fences, a novices’ handicap at Sedgefield. He got the better of Burrenbridge Hotel by half a length. Tony Carroll’s gelding is up 5lbs in the weights at Kempton.

Darebin bids to follow up Sandown win

Gary Moore’s Darebin is a six-year-old gelding by It’s Gino out of a Grand Lodge mare. He gained his second win over fences when beating Big Jim by a short-head at Sandown in a three-runner contest. His task was made easier by the early departure of the favourite so the form looks suspect.

Robin Dickin’s Vocaliser has won three of his six races over fences, two at Taunton and one at Leicester. He carried a 5lbs penalty last time when third to Admiral’s Secret at Ludlow. The bottom weight is Free Stone Hill, trained by Dan Skelton. He is an eight-year-old gelding by Beneficial and is difficult to fancy on the evidence of his recent effort at Huntingdon.

Horses racing at Kempton Park

Matchbook VIP Chase Betting Tips

Valhalla @ Paddy Power

Kayf Blanco (each-way)

Each-way ¼ odds, 1,2,3

The Matchbook VIP Chase is due off at 2.05 at Kempton on Saturday 17th March and will be televised live on ITV4.