6:20 Kempton (29th January) Free Racing Tips

A Median Auction Maiden Stakes over 6f on standard going. Seven runners take part all three-year-olds bar Ishisoba who is four. Three colts take on the girls, all from talented trainers. Most have race experience although two debutantes will need to be primed to figure. Pool House has turned a few punter's hair a whiter shade of grey, beaten favourite on his last four starts, twice at odds-on, but conversely never far away. This son of Sahkee's Secret cost £22,000 at the yearling sales out of a French-raced mare. Andrew Balding's colt has been given a winter break and fitness must be taken on trust. However, the Kingsclere Park House Stable only have a small team for the All-Weather and this bay has never looked stuffy in his previous races. Probably the greatest sign that connections mean business is a drop in class. After running in EBF maidens this will be an easier proposition. Pool House is likely to be priced to chance but it will take a fair horse to beat him today. 

Taquka has a similar profile although more auction standard than the above mentioned horse. This son of Kodiac must have been showing up well on the gallop, making his racecourse bow odds-on favourite. Inexperienced proved costly that day but this bay colt has suffered narrow losses when runner-up on his last three starts. The mare - Dubai Princess - was a classy type: a multiple winner, Listed-class placed and competed in the Cheveley Park Stakes (Group 1) at two. Taquka hasn't been seen for just under two-hundred days. This step up to 6f for the first time shouldn't be a problem and the stable must feel they can eke out a little more ability. The betting should tell the story with regard to fitness. The stable have a good win rate at this course and the main threat to the likely favourite.

One of the debutantes - Harboured - hails from Sir Mark Prescott's stable. This American-bred filly sired by Rockport Harbor looks to need much further than this sprint trip and has an engagement to run at Wolverhampton (Friday) over one mile. The stable's debutantes are often sent out needing the run and unless backed as though defeat is out of question is a horse I wouldn't entertain betting. She has claims if priced 13/2 & less but a horse I would lay if priced outside this betting guide. 

*Red Primo is best watched unless well backed. The stable's debutantes usually need the run but can be superb bets if well punted. 

John Hills has a poor win rate at this course although Joe Fanning has done well from a small sample of rides for the stable. Katja is out of a capable mare and is probably better than we have seen so far. A step up in distance may see further improvement and with an official rating of just 63 may be better placed in handicaps. It may be a negative that she was sent to the sales but withdrawn. 

The home bred Why Not Now is not the easiest to assess. Unfancied but running with promise on debut, she showed little, if not disappointed, when relatively fancied at Lingfield last start over 7f. Breeding suggests this drop in distance may leave her struggling for pace. Joey Haynes has done well for the few rides with Roger Charlton. 

Ishisoba has to carry an age penalty and yet to taste victory after seventeen starts. With an official rating of just 50 this daughter of Ishiguru may struggle with a couple of fair talents for this grade.

Conclusion: This looks to be out of Pool House and Taquka. The former trained by Andrew Balding will appreciate this drop in class and it would seem connections are intent on changing their luck in this grade. Harboured & Red Primo would have claims if priced 13/2 & less. This looks very unlikely. Katja, Ishisoba & Why Not Now need to improve. Pool House would get the nod but doesn't look much value unless drifting in the betting. 
   
*NR

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