The racing schedule in Britain and Ireland has been somewhat decimated on Thursday as the cold snap continues but two cards have survived the cull.
They come at Wolverhampton early in the day, before Kempton takes over into the evening.
We’ve got three fancies across the cards today, including an improving sprinter with lots in his favour for Mick Appleby as he targets two wins in five days.
The feature race at Kempton on Thursday evening is a 6f Conditions Stakes, with six runners engaged, and trainer Mick Appleby turns out ANNAF (4/5) looking to follow up his score at Lingfield on Saturday.
The Muhaarar colt is now 3-7 on synthetic surfaces following that win and, on these favourable terms, has an excellent opportunity of bettering that record.
He was back from a short break in that contest and was carrying top-weight off a mark of 101. Held up in rear, he plotted a nice path through traffic and hit the front at the furlong-marker under Rossa Ryan.
His rider didn’t have to really get after him and the race was quickly in safe keeping as they coasted through the final 50 yards. His hold-up style should pay dividends again back at Kempton, where he was second over C&D a year ago in his only previous visit in a similar race to this one.
Now a maturing four-year-old, he looks a stronger performer compared to 12 months ago and can strike again quickly.
The final race of six at Wolverhampton is a 5f sprint handicap and a contest in which veteran Boom The Groom, a 12-year-old these days, is sure to go close with a repeat Monday’s fine second here, while Apache Star shaped with promise at Southwell recently and will make plenty shortlists too.
However, one that is due respect is MINTANA (7/1) for trainer David Evans after showing improved form to win at Lingfield last week.
The Havana Grey filly was having just her fourth all-weather run, and a first at this 5f trip, as she made short work of that Classified event on her first start in three months.
This is a stronger race now back in a handicap, and will demand more, but she’s not exposed and could have more to offer at this trip, ensuring she makes appeal off a featherweight with rider Mollie Phillips also able to claim a handy 3lb.
SUPER MO (5/4) looks the answer for David Simcock and Jamie Spencer in the Kempton opener as he returns from a break and steps up in distance searching for his maiden win.
The son of Uncle Mo was having only his second start when he tackled the mile here in August, going off second-favourite and duly chasing home market leader Dubai Mile.
The winner made all and had too much for his rivals, but Super Mo was almost four-lengths clear of everything else and that form took a handsome boost as Dubai Mile was second in the Royal Lodge at Newmarket the following month before winning a Group 1 at Saint-Cloud in October.
That form surely gives Super Mo excellent prospects of proving better than the seven rivals he faces on his return from a break here. The step up in trip looks the way to go and he’s surely a winner waiting to happen.