The unexposed Arch Villain makes his eagerly awaited handicap debut in the 8.00 at Kempton tonight and looks worth siding with at 9/1.
Amanda Perrett’s charge showed steadily progressive form in three runs as a juvenile last season, and went into my notebook as one to keep an eye on in middle distance handicaps after finishing a staying on fourth of 12 to Waterclock over a mile at Newbury on his second outing.
After being held up off the pace he kept on steadily from the two marker without being knocked about, and although beaten over 8 lengths by the winner he finished two lengths in front of captain Cat who went on to finish a fair third to the useful Noble Mission before running out a wide margin winner of a Newmarket maiden last week.
The selection then put in another solid effort when dropped back to 7f here on his final start, where he again kept on well to be beaten 3 lengths into 5th of 11 behind Sheik The Reins.
That trip was clearly an inadequate test for him, and he is now upped in distance to a far more suitable 1m 2f.
I think that he will prove a different proposition now that his stamina is being brought into play, and having been gelded over the winter he starts life off in handicaps on what could well be a lenient mark of 68.
To me he should be around a 7/1 shot for this, so at the 9s on offer he looks solid each-way value.
Daily Sport recommended bet: 2pts each-way Arch Villain (9/1 generally available – use BOG firms)