NAP of the Day: Alhather bit of that 5/2, please

 | 16th April | 

2 mins read

Owen McMahon's NAP of the Day

I wrote yesterday about keeping the ball rolling following a fruitful Grand National Festival, so I was delighted to cheer home another winner, at 5/2, on Tuesday.

That's the same price as my latest NAP of the Day, which comes from Kempton's all-weather card on Wednesday evening.

NAP of the Day

  • 18:30 Kempton - Alhather @ 5/2

Why should you have a bit of 5/2 about Andrew Balding's ALHATHER for this novice event over seven furlongs?

Well, firstly I think there's only two sensible betting propositions in the race. I'm not saying Smart Hero won't prove to be exactly that, or that Golden Myrrh and Formidable Force can't find the improvement needed to get the job done, but as far as I'm concerned the main rationale behind backing them and any of the other eight runners would be hope.

The standard set by the aforementioned Alhather and current favourite Sir Les Patterson is solid and there's good reason to expect further improvement from the pair.

They actually met at Southwell back in December and filled the first two places, with the latter landing the spoils - and somewhat comfortably in the end. I fancy that form to be reversed here though.

Not only were they racing off level weights that day (Alhather gets 7lbs from his penalised rival this time), but Sir Les Patterson was also race-fit and more streetwise having made his debut in a warm contest at Kempton the previous month, whereas it was the selection's first day at school. This time, it's Alhather with the fitness and experience edge.

You could argue that the three-year-old son of Kodiac didn't progress from Southwell, but I think that'd be harsh. His third behind the 92-rated Cracking Gold and subsequent winner Native Approach, who is favourite for the G3 Craven Stakes at Newmarket on Thursday, is as strong, if not even stronger form.

It's true that his latest run, when beaten at 8/11f around Kempton a couple of months ago, is disappointing at face value, but I'm inclined to forgive him. He was stepping back to six furlongs, which I don't think suited, and he was forced to make the running at a modest pace which also wasn't ideal. He's surely better than that showing.

The selection's main market rival is also a likely improver for a trainer whose string are going very well despite a strike rate of just 8%, but can he step forward enough to give 7lbs to a fitter rival who was only a length or so behind him the last time they met? Not for me.

Alhather to win the 18.30 Kempton at 5-2

Find our NAP of the Day here at Betfred Insights

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