Rhapando to strike at Kempton

Anita Chambers previews Friday's five UK and Irish meetings with Rhapando her nap at Kempton.

Paul Webber (r) trains Rhapando

BANGOR: 1.50 Lough Derg Farmer, 2.20 Antartica De Thaix, 2.50 Dashing Oscar, 3.20 Battle Dust, 3.55 Hartside, 4.25 Hands Of Stone, 5.00 Big Fella Thanks.

DUNDALK: 4.55 Sebastian Bach, 5.30 Rashaan, 6.00 Heartful, 6.30 Admodum, 7.00 Fizzy Friday, 7.30 Fastidious, 8.00 U S Navy Seal, 8.30 Multiviz.

KEMPTON: 1.40 Magic Dancer, 2.10 Get On The Yager, 2.40 Like The Sound, 3.10 RHAPANDO (NAP), 3.45 One Of Us, 4.15 Politologue, 4.50 Book Of Gold.

NEWCASTLE: 5.45 Chiswick Bey, 6.15 Mia Wallace, 6.45 Major Jumbo, 7.15 Dalavida, 7.45 Killermont Street, 8.15 Pretty Bubbles.

SOUTHWELL: 1.30 Movie Magic, 2.00 Kencumin, 2.30 Fortinbrass, 3.00 Razin' Hell, 3.35 Elusivity, 4.05 Fern Owl, 4.40 Luv U Always.

DOUBLE: Rhapando and Antartica De ThaixRhapando was brought down on his return from a long lay-off at Kempton last month, but hopefully will enjoy more luck on his return to the track for the Smarter Bets With Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap Chase.

The eight-year-old had shaped with a bit of promise through the 2014/15 season, but was then sidelined for the best part of two years before returning in a similar heat to this.

Paul Webber's charge got no further than the seventh fence though and he should be given another shot here.

The Matchbook Traders Conference Graduation Chase has cut up disappointingly, providing Politologue with a gilt-edged opportunity to get back on the winning trail.

The Paul Nicholls-trained grey was seriously impressive on his fencing debut at Haydock and comfortably took the step up to Grade Two level in his stride at Ascot in December.

He was denied the hat-trick by Waiting Patiently at Haydock last month, but was conceding weight to the talented winner and lost little in defeat.

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Politologue faces just one rival for his latest assignment and with Pain Au Chocolat rated vastly inferior, this looks an ideal chance for the Nicholls runner to warm up for the Cheltenham Festival with a ready success.

The champion trainer is also likely to be among the winners at Bangor, with Antartica De Thaix the clear pick in the T.B.A. EBF Mares' Novices' Chase.

The daughter of Dom Alco very nearly made a successful start to her chasing career at Sandown in December, only losing out by a head to Pilgrims Bay.

She looked set to go one better at Wincanton on Boxing Day following the early fall of hot favourite Desert Queen, but she herself came to grief when clear three fences from the finish.

With a clear round, Antartica De Thaix should reward those who keep the faith in Wales.

John Balding is the man to follow at Southwell with both Razin' Hell and Fortinbrass primed to strike at the Nottinghamshire venue.

Razin' Hell tackles the Betway Best Odds Guaranteed Plus Handicap after finishing second over the same course and distance last time.

The six-year-old is happiest when leading from the front, but he had competition for the prime position last time and his early efforts in trying to get to the front perhaps just told a bit when the race really got serious.

Beaten two and a half lengths, it was still a decent run and the handicapper has thankfully left him alone on a mark of 85.

Razin' Hell really excels at Southwell with seven of his eight career victories coming at the track, where strong course form is a definite advantage.

Fortinbrass is another that relishes the Fibresand surface, and he can hit the target in the sunbets.co.uk Handicap.

He boasts four victories over the six furlongs he tackles here, most recently prevailing in a moderate handicap at the end of last month.

He bounced back from a disappointing previous run at the venue when seeing off Cadeaux Pearl by a neck, with the narrow margin of victory limiting the handicapper to a 2lb rise.

Fortinbrass now sits on a perch of 62 and while he may not be quite the force he once was, the seven-year-old won off a mark of 81 in better days so perhaps all is not lost yet.

Major Jumbo can follow up his recent Newcastle success in the 32Red Casino Handicap back at Gosforth Park.

Kevin Ryan's charge looked one who is sure to go onto better things after triumphing in a fair three-year-old event by two and a quarter lengths from the favourite.

He had previously run well enough in defeat on his return from a lay-off at Southwell, but that outing had clearly put him straight as Major Jumbo won with something in hand.

An 8lb rise in the weights is hardly ideal, but the Zebedee gelding appears to be on an upward curve now.

Posted at 1540 GMT on 09/02/17.

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