Past Winners » Kempes


Kempes is well worth backing here at 12/1. Willie Mullins’s gelding has progressed with every run this season over fences. He beat Nicanor well at Fairyhouse in February, then ran out of his skin, staying on well to beat the ill-fated Jagoes Mills over two and a half miles on unsuitably soft ground at Thurles at the end of February.

You can easily forgive him his run in the Powers Gold Cup at Fairyhouse last time, the ground was simply bottomless that day. In fairness to Jadanli, he got through it better than anything, but today’s ground will present a totally different challenge.

Kempes has never been over this type of distance before, indeed, he was always thought of and campaigned as a two-miler over hurdles by Mullins, but he stayed on really well at Thurles on heavy ground. Also, he is from the family of stayers Le Moss and Levmoss, and when he won the Ulster Derby for Frances Crowley in 2006, he looked like a stayer in the making. He is at his best on good ground, and it could be that three miles on good ground is exactly what he wants. The fact that AP McCoy is back over to ride him for new owner JP McManus is no handicap.

Zaarito is a big danger if he jumps a clear round, and he has a good chance of so doing at the slightly slower pace that they will go over three miles, but he also has to prove that he stays, and he has fallen now in four of his seven starts over fences. China Rock and The Midnight Club are also big dangers, but at the prices, Kempes represents fair value for me. With the dead eight runners, he is an each-way bet.

KEMPES WON (ADV 12/1, SP 9/1)