NAP of the Day: 11/4 shot to continue drive up handicap ranks

 | 7th May | 

2 mins read

Owen McMahon's NAP of the Day

Away from the opening day of the May Festival at Chester, which I've covered here, there's four meetings to enjoy on Wednesday - including an all-weather affair from Kempton Park.

That's the destination for the NAP of the Day, which is currently available at 11/4.

NAP of the Day

  • 20:00 Kempton - Midnight Drive @ 11/4

When connections splashed €85,000 on MIDNIGHT DRIVE - a daughter of Ten Sovereigns out of a Galileo mare - back in September 2022, they no doubt had loftier ambitions than lowly handicaps after only a handful of starts.

However, that's the reality of her current situation following a few average performances in novice events. She was given an opening mark of just 62 as a result and trainer Clive Cox sent her immediately into handicap company.

On her first attempt, in a 0-60 affair over Wednesday's course and distance, she got off the mark, beating an admittedly weak field in the closing strides.

I do think her superiority over her 10 rivals was more than the official winning margin suggests, though. She lost an unnecessary amount of ground early on and didn't have the easiest passage down the straight, so it can be marked up slightly as far as I'm concerned.

A rise of just two pounds looks a generous move from the handicapper. The form is yet to be tested but given the way she won, her breeding and price tag, she could really start driving up the handicap ranks and I'm willing to bet she's being underestimated.

Further progression is definitely necessary if she's to do the double, because this 0-70 fillies' handicap is, at least on the face of it, a significantly tougher assignment.

The likes of Dancingwithmyself, Tayala and Carpathian are all credible rivals and you never know how much improvement could come from some of the other lightly-raced individuals having their first, second or even third run in this sphere, but in my book the selection has significantly more scope than the rest of the field.

Another positive for her is the form of her handler. He's operating at a 19% strike rate courtesy of three winners from 16 runners in the last two weeks and even his losers have been emerging from their respective races with plenty of credit.

All in all, I'm confident of a big run. Fingers crossed she can repeat last month's success.

Midnight Drive to win the 20.00 Kempton at 11-4

Find our NAP of the Day here at Betfred Insights

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