All Aboard The Dalness Express At Kempton

Prairie Town faded badly in the closing stages at Sandown on Saturday, and it was a disappointing effort. The big news this week is that Kempton could be up for sale, and racing could be a thing of the past at the home of the King George VI Chase.

The rumour mill has suggested that the graded national hunt races might be moved to Sandown, while Newmarket could be the location for a replacement all weather track. None of this is due to happen until 2021 at the earliest, and it will be interesting  to see how this story unfolds.

The future of racing at Kempton is under threat.

Fittingly, Wednesday’s fancy goes at Kempton, and I think Dalness Express could be suited by the drop back to 7f in the 4.45, a class 7 contest, on just his 2nd handicap start. This 4yo son of Firebreak has had his issues at the stalls, and his handicap debut here (8f) was a write off after he lost at least 10L at the start. He was slowly away on his first three runs too, but he showed a glimmer of promise when 5th on debut at Bath (5.5f soft).

After a couple of poor maiden efforts at Hamilton and Kempton, when also slowly away, he showed definite potential when pitched into a class 6 classified heat over today’s course and distance on his penultimate outing. He was a lot better at the start, even if he missed it slightly, and his jockey let him bowl along near the rear.

He got caught behind a couple of horses as they rounded the top turn, and as they came into the home straight he was brought widest of all to make his effort. He stayed on pretty well for 8th, beaten just 5L, and with a clearer passage he might have finished even closer. His mark of 49 remained untouched after his poor handicap run last time, and he races off the same rating today.

He is a half brother to dual Kempton 6f scorer Major Valentine, who runs later on, who is also trained by John O’Shea. Ciaran McKee takes off a handy 5lb, and he has ridden 25 winners for O’Shea down through the years. If he can get Dalness Express away on level terms from stall 10, and get a bit more luck in running, I think he could hit the frame at odds of 16/1.


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