Past Winners » Kempes


Message of 2nd February:

Kempes is interesting here at 10/1. He hasn’t been very high-profile this season, but he is still potentially a high class staying chaser and he is under-rated here at 10/1.

Winner of the Ulster Derby on the flat for Frances Crowley, he was a good novice hurdler for when he first joined Willie Mullins, winning his first two races impressively, and he was well fancied for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle when a bad mistake at the first flight effectively ended his chance. He went on to Fairyhouse after that and won a Grade 2 contest, and then went to Punchestown, where he finished second to his stable companion Hurricane Fly in the Champion Novice Hurdle, with Riverside Theatre and Go Native behind him in third and fourth.

He was a good novice chaser last season as well – he beat Nicanor in what was effectively a match at Fairyhouse, and he beat the highly talented Jagoes Mills in the re-routed Nas na Riogh Chase at Thurles – but he improved beyond anything he had ever achieved before when he was stepped up to three miles for the first time at the Punchestown Festival, and won the Champion Novice Chase, beating the high class China Rock, and his better-fancied stable companion The Midnight Club.

He has run just twice this season. He stayed on well to finish third behind his better-fancied stable companion Golden Silver in the Hilly Way Chase at Fairyhouse in December over an inadequate two miles on his first start, and he was still travelling well enough when he unseated his rider at the second last in the Lexus on his second start. It is impossible to know how he would have fared had he not lost his rider, it is unlikely that he would have beaten Pandorama on the day, but he hadn’t been asked for his effort.

His jumping was a little indifferent on occasion at Leopardstown, which is a little bit of a concern. He isn’t necessarily a natural over his fences, but he does travel, he has pace and he stays well, and his jumping was much better off better ground at Punchestown last April.

Kempes has just turned eight, he has run just eight times over fences in his life, and he still has plenty of scope for progression. He won his maiden hurdle at Leopardstown and he finished second in a flat maiden on his racecourse debut on his only visits to Leopardstown before the Lexus, and he is reported to be in fine form by Willie Mullins after schooling well after racing at Punchestown on Sunday … The majority of Kempes’s rivals are not progressive, we know exactly how good The Listener and Money Trix and Joncol are.

Message of 9th February:

It was good news for our bet on Kempes that the meeting was called off on Sunday. The weather confounded all meteorological forecasts, all day Wednesday the talk was of yielding to soft ground, heading towards yielding by the weekend. On yielding ground, Kempes would have had an outstanding chance. The ground would have favoured him and would have been well against almost all the other horses towards the top of the market. The only other real contender that it would have favoured was China Rock. The Listener, Money Trix, Joncol, Cooldine, even Pride Of Dulcote are all at their best on soft ground, with several of them needing it.

It is a different story now. Again yesterday, it looked like the weather was going to be in our favour. Leopardstown is a quick-draining track, and the weather forecast was generally good. It rained last night, but it is forecast now to be largely dry between now and Saturday. Hopefully the ground won’t be too bad on Saturday.

Most bookmakers are allowing bets stand, but make sure you double-check with the bookmaker with whom you placed the bet. If they offer you a choice, keep the bet, 10/1 about Kempes with Pride Of Dulcote out is a good bet, even with the uncertainty about the ground.

Message of 12th February:

The ground is drying all the time at Leopardstown, they didn’t have much rain yesterday, they had none overnight, it is a sunny fresh morning, so hopefully the ground will have dried out a little. It won’t be the yielding ground that we were hoping for for Kempes, but it shouldn’t be desperately heavy either, like it would have been last Sunday. With Pride Of Dulcote and Cooldine now out, the 10/1 that we took about him is big now. If your bet was voided, the recommendation is to back him now at 7/1. That is still more than fair.

KEMPES WON (ADV 10/1, SP 5/1)