The Grade 2 Kingwell Hurdle, originally set for last Saturday at Wincanton but cancelled because of the impact of Storm Dennis, will now be run as part of an eight-race card at Kempton Park on Saturday.

Weekend Schedule Changed

The BHA have quite rightly found it incumbent that they save the Kingwell Hurdle, a recognised Champion Hurdle trial as well as a top-quality Grade Two race in its own right, by moving it to Kempton this weekend.

The race, along with the Jane Seymour Mares Novices’ Hurdle which was part of last week’s abandoned Sandown card, has been rearranged with the latter now taking place at Warwick on Friday afternoon. There could be a shake-up too; intended runners in the Kingwell and the Jane Seymour must now be re-entered by noon on Tuesday so we could see very different fields to the ones we’d expected last time.

The Tapeta tracks at Newcastle and Wolverhampton will also now host two new ‘bumpers for jumpers’ meets, a move sanctioned again because of recent abandonments. Two seven-race cards will take place on Friday at Newcastle and at Wolverhampton on Sunday.

These are very welcome moves by the BHA and they ensure that British horses thought of as Cheltenham material may still take in their intended runs before trainers make final decisions on their Festival squads.

Kempton’s Big Day

Kempton was already set for a big day of action on Saturday as they host four graded races of their own alongside the Kingwell Hurdle.

In the Grade 2 Pendil Novices’ Chase the highly-regarded Reserve Tank has been entered, while in the Adonis Juvenile Hurdle there could be a real battle on between Solo and Fujimoto Flyer. Their third Grade 2 is the Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle which precedes the Grade 3 888Sport Handicap Chase, a hugely competitive affair in which Black Corton could return.

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Flat Racing Gearing Up

Despite all the pre-Cheltenham hullaballoo the flat scene is not to be brushed over either. Saturday’s Lingfield card features the Group 3 Winter Derby, a race that could feature two former Derby contenders at Epsom in the shape of Bangkok and Dubai Warrior.

Andrew Balding’s Bangkok won the trial for this race in great style from John Gosden’s good yardstick Court House who may yet re-oppose, while the main man himself trains Dubai Warrior who is officially rated 4lbs inferior to the Balding horse but he’s had less experience and is climbing the ladder rapidly.

Form students will have to decide “who did it better” between the two as both horses have easily beaten Court House in their preparations for this, but being on the upward trajectory it would be a brave man who would oppose Dubai Warrior at a superior price for this race.

Over in Dubai at the Carnival, the action continues on Thursday with several Group races taking place and there will be a return in the opener for Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe hope Ghaiyyath.

Charlie Appleby’s five-year-old is rated 126 and could be one of the leading lights of the European turf season and he is joined on the card by exciting types Zakouski and Mythical Magic.

Also featured is a Group 2 sprint in which Charlie Hills’ Equilateral looks to continue to prove he can be a top-class five-furlong sprinter after his taking success at this track a couple of weeks ago.

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