Le Reve has what it takes to thrive at a decent price in the BetBright Chase at Kempton.
Lucy Wadham’s seven-year-old has been in terrific heart this winter and can take his game to the next level with a big show in the Grade Three handicap over three miles.
Le Reve was not a happy bunny in the Hennessy - he was pulled up three out - but that was a minor blip in an otherwise profitable season at right-handed tracks.
Wadham’s inmate dotted up at Sandown on his seasonal debut and later got to within four lengths of The Young Master at Ascot just before Christmas.
Even better was to come back at Sandown on January 31, when he accounted for the more-than-useful Theatrical Star by five lengths in a handicap chase over an extended three miles.
Le Reve looked particularly impressive in Esher as the ground was probably a shade too soft for his liking.
And judged by the forecast, conditions should be much more palatable at Kempton, a track at which he won over hurdles a few years ago.
Moreover, a 7lb rise for his recent Sandown success looks relatively lenient for what was a most authoritative effort.
In what hardly looks an epic renewal, he is a fine alternative to likely favourite Easter Day, whose price is off-putting for what he has hitherto achieved on a racecourse.
Un Ace is interesting in the BetBright Best For Festival Betting Pendil Novices’ Chase. Kim Bailey’s seven-year-old has done pretty well since thoughts turned to chasing, with accomplished victories at Doncaster and Huntingdon erasing memories of a third-fence fall first time up at Cheltenham.
Un Ace did not look that great back at Cheltenham in December, when he chased home Champagne West, but he has since undergone a breathing operation and will appreciate the slightly less demanding ground in Sunbury.
A chance can be taken on Beltor in the BetBright Cheltenham Festival Fund Adonis Juvenile Hurdle.
The four-year-old, trained by Robert Stephens, shone on his hurdling bow at Ludlow and could be the curveball runner in what is not as good a race as usual.
Stout Irish stayer Portrait King is an appealing proposition to win the Betfred Eider at Newcastle a second time.
The Maurice Phelan-trained 10-year-old is in fine fettle, having won so well at Punchestown before returning to the County Kildare circuit to finish second under a big weight in a Grand National trial.
Although he is 9lb higher upon his return to Gosforth Park, Portrait King is ideally suited when there is plenty of give in the ground and has stamina to burn.
Vieux Lion Rouge has had plenty on his plate in two starts this season, but the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle at Chepstow represents a good opportunity for David Pipe’s chestnut to get back into the winning habit.
Good stuff at Lingfield, where Grandeur is the stand-out name in the coral.co.uk Winter Derby Trial.
Jeremy Noseda’s much-travelled colt won this race 12 months ago before going on to snare one of the main events at the Easter meeting.
* selections -
Chepstow: 1.55 Bronco Billy, 2.30 Master Rajeem, 3.05 Filatore, 3.35 Sire De Grugy, 4.10 Vieux Lion Rouge, 4.45 Accordingtopalm, 5.20 Captain McGinley.
Kempton: 1.25 Bernardelli, 2.00 Beltor, 2.35 Un Ace, 3.10 Vago Collonges, 3.45 LE REVE (NAP), 4.20 Auvergnat, 4.55 Ballyhenry.
Newcastle: 1.50 Wakanda, 2.20 De Faoithesdream, 2.55 Portrait King, 3.30 Cultram Abbey, 4.05 Delta Forty, 4.40 Rowdy Rocher, 5.10 Double W’s.
Lingfield: 1.15 Kung Hei Fat Choy, 1.45 Glen Moss, 2.15 Grey Mirage, 2.50 Mister Rockandroll, 3.25 Grandeur, 4.00 Caminel, 4.35 Brother Tiger, 5.05 Fair Value.
Double: Le Reve and Portrait King.