The highlight on Kempton’s card is the listed Wild Flower Stakes over a mile and a half (19:50) with some smart performers among the field of nine including the first two home from last year.
‘Hot trainer’ Charlie Appleby has two good chances, with preference among his pair being for the Timeform top-rated Siskany (weight-adjusted rating 122) who was last year’s runner-up. He gained his first career win as a two-year-old on his other visit to the track so should be more at home here than when a well-held third in heavy ground in Germany earlier in the month, though that was a Group 1 contest. Siskany is going for a third listed win of the year after successes at Meydan early on and more recently at Newmarket, both of which were smart efforts. His Newmarket win came in first-time cheekpieces which are retained here.
Younger stablemate Wild Crusade (120) also boasts a good track record as he was a course-and-distance winner in a novice and handicap in his first two starts this year and was beaten only half a length in a listed race, again over course and distance, by another stablemate, Warren Point, here last month. Also successful in a handicap at Ascot during the summer, Wild Crusade has made into a smart three-year-old and also ran well two starts ago when finding another Godolphin gelding, Al Nafir, a neck too good in the Old Rowley Cup at Newmarket.
Of the rest, another of the three-year-olds, Jack Darcy (119), has place claims for Paul and Oliver Cole after earning the ‘Horse In Focus’ flag on his latest start. Claimer ridden, he finished a close fourth of six to King of The South in a useful handicap at Newcastle last time but was unlucky not to have gone closer still after having to pick his way through and rattling home late. Jack Darcy also acquitted himself well in better company earlier in the year, notably when fourth in the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood.
David Menuisier’s runner Belloccio (121) steps back up in grade here after contesting handicaps previously this year with both his wins coming here at Kempton over a slightly shorter trip. He was successful in the Rosebery Handicap on his reappearance in April and last month put up a smart effort to win the valuable final of the track’s London Middle Distance Series when forging clear in the last couple of furlongs to beat Sea The Casper by four and a half lengths.
Michael Bell’s Dillian (112) is one of the least exposed of these after just five starts, two of which have come in Group 1 company in France, and while he should appreciate the return to listed company after struggling in the Prix Royal-Oak at Longchamp last time, he’s very much a stayer on pedigree, shaping that way too when fourth in a listed race at Ascot on his belated return over a mile and three quarters, so is likely to find this an insufficient test.
The same goes for 2020 St Leger runner-up Berkshire Rocco (112+) who hasn’t made it to the track very often for Andrew Balding over the last couple of years. He looked rusty on his first start for more than a year when behind in the listed race Wild Crusade contested here last month.
Charlie Fellowes’ filly Purple Ribbon (111p) has only had four runs, all on all-weather tracks, and is open to improvement which she’ll need to find to pick up some black type here. Successful in a maiden at Chelmsford and handicap at Newcastle last year, she shaped better than the bare result, earning the ‘Horse In Focus’ flag, when having to pick her way through traffic to take fourth behind Merlin’s Beard in a handicap at Lingfield on her only start this year back in August.
Garden Paradise (119) beat Siskany by three and a quarter lengths in this contest 12 months ago, her third success in 2021, but that stands out as a clear career-best effort for James Tate and she was well beaten in the Group 3 Stanerra Stakes at Leopardstown in July on her only outing this year.
Goemon (101+) is another of the unexposed runners, having had just three runs, all in novice company. He’s won the last two of those, both over a mile and a quarter at Lingfield, and, having left Roger Varian for Kevin Philippart de Foy, he returned from almost six months off to put up a useful effort earlier this month, earning the ‘Sectional Timing Flag’. A good deal more is needed here, however, and there are doubts on pedigree about him staying the extra couple of furlongs.
Timeform analyst’s verdict
An open-looking listed event for which Siskany looks the most appealing despite a poor run on heavy ground in Germany last time. He has the best form and has run well on both previous visits to the track, so he's marginally preferred to stablemate Wild Crusade, who was an excellent second over course and distance a month ago. Jack Darcy caught the eye last time, so he's also worthy of consideration.
Timeform weight-adjusted ratings
120 Wild Crusade
119 Garden Paradise
119 Jack Darcy
112+ Berkshire Rocco
111p Purple Ribbon
Race Passes are the ultimate form guide, providing Timeform analysis, Flags and ratings for every runner in every race in Britain and Ireland. Subscribers have access to additional features that add extra levels of insight, including complete performance histories, an extensive form archive and unlimited use of horse, jockey and trainer searches.