There can be no complaints of the racing for a wet and windy Monday afternoon. Even Chelmsford got in on the act with a valuable AW card with some competitive heats. The eyes of the NH scene were fixed on Kempton however. The listed race was won nicely by a Oli Sherwood improver, Surtee Du Berlais. The main attraction however was in a two runner race, with a 1/7 favourite winning by over 60 lengths. Yes…
1 25 ALTIOR (N Henderson) 1/7, C4 Novice Chases, 2M2F, Soft (Good To Soft In Places)
Did we learn much? If anything? No… It stretched as far as that we now know Altior can jump a fence. We already knew he has a top class cruising speed, we know he will be a good chaser – but nothing new has emerged from Monday afternoon. Black Corton is no mug, but still far from the class of G1 champ Altior – it was a schooling session, nothing else. We won’t learn anything regarding Altior until he returns to the fences at Sandown in two weeks, where he will hopefully face a few more foes in a tighter affair – where will then learn how he can jump when it matters. The only thing to emerge from Kempton on Monday was simply the mess NH racing can appear in at times outside of March. The whole novice chase grey area is just one part of the problem around the season that needs some reshaping, and soon. There is no overnight success story, but with the money banded around the top of the sport, surely someone is qualified to have a go.