I’m keen to oppose the ex-Mick Halford filly Hunaina in the Snowdrop Stakes this weekend, and she may be overbet on the basis of an overrated effort at Chantilly last time. She was the outsider of four in the Prix Montjeu, but benefited from a farcically slow pace which counted against her rivals, with Robin of Navan unsuited to setting the pace at the trip, and the other pair pulling hard for their heads.
Hunaina was best positioned to win the sprint which ensued, but her stride was shortening close home, and I don’t think she did enough to earn her revised Timeform rating, nor to prove she stayed the mile trip. Prior to Chantilly, she had excelled at a mile, and while a move to the yard of Henri-Francois Devin has undeniably paid off, that looks a case of opportunity rather than improvement in form. Her best effort for Mick Halford was a 7f handicap win at Dundalk off an official rating of 88, and she was well held on her final outing last year when tackling a mile and listed company.
I’m not ruling out further improvement given her profile, and she’s entitled to her place here, but she has more to prove than her form figures would suggest, and should be a double-figure price by my reckoning.
It’s something of a risk laying her for a place, but the prospect of black type means that most of these will be trying for their lives, and if I’m right about Hunaina’s stamina limitations, then she will struggle to hit the frame.
I’m surprised to see Boundsy so prominent in the betting for the 6f handicap on Kempton’s card, and while he’s a likeable sort who improved throughout last season, he’s taking on some specialist AW sprinters here, and isn’t guaranteed to enjoy the way this race pans out.
His wins last term came in well-run races when finding plenty for driving, and I think he will be vulnerable in a race where instant acceleration is demanded. On top of that, trainer Richard Fahey has an unaccountably poor record at Kempton, with a strike rate which is dipping below 2% at the track over a long period. He’s a horse to be fairly positive about in general, but he looks avoiding first time up.
- 14:40 Kempton – Lay Boundsy @ 6 or shorter
- 15.15 Kempton – Lay Hunaina @ 6 or shorter
- 15.15 Kempton – Lay Hunaina to place @ 2.5 or shorter