Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase betting tips: Kalashnikov impossible to oppose at Kempton

The 2018 Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase betting tips on Horsebetting.com say Kalashnikov looks a worthy favourite for the 2m Grade 2 contest at Kempton on Thursday, 27 December. Dynamite Dollars scored at the highest level last time out, so is feared most despite carrying a penalty for that success. Maria’s Benefit is real flagbearer for her stable, meanwhile, and the obvious each-way alternative. For more on a top quality renewal, read our detailed 2018 Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase betting tips below.

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Odds
8/13
Selection
Kalashnikov
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William Hill logo
Odds
7/2
Danger
Dynamite Dollars
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Paddy Power logo
Odds
6/1
E/W
Maria's Benefit
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Kalashnikov a worthy Wayward Lad favourite

Kalashnikov is a hot favourite to make the step back up into graded company after winning his first two starts over fences at Kempton on Thursday. Given the easy, unextended nature of those victories, he simply cannot be opposed in the Grade 2 Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase over 2m (13:20).

This Amy Murphy trained five-year-old has never finished outside the first two in eight career starts, winning six. Kalashnikov is a son of Kalanisi and an Old Vic mare who landed his first two hurdle starts both by 10 lengths. Connections then stepped him up into Grade 1 company for the Tolworth at Sandown and he chased Summerville Boy home.

Before that one confirmed the form in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle when just holding Kalashnikov by a neck, he plundered the valuable Betfair Hurdle in open company slogging it out in the Newbury mud to score by 4 1/2 lengths. He was just headed close home at the Cheltenham Festival and went down fighting to the rallying winner who fluffed the final flight.

Unbeaten over fences

Murphy then plotted a chase campaign for Kalashnikov this season, and he’s done nothing major wrong in readily winning both of his outings over fences. After returning at Warwick and bolting up by 11 lengths, he won a bonus race around Plumpton that will net connections extra prize money if he goes on to land the Arkle Challenge Trophy.

As Kalashnikov jumped soundly and made it back-to-back victories by a cosy 18 lengths, he is already a warm ante post favourite for the 2m novice chase championship race. If that position at the head of the Arkle betting is justified, however, he needs some more black type and should thus be winning this.

A mark of 152 when factoring in the race terms mean Kalashnikov comes out on top on adjusted ratings. He is widely expected to win this en route to even bigger and better things, so is the main selection of our 2018 Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase betting tips.

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Dynamite Dollars a clear danger

Opposing Kalashnikov is Grade 1 winner Dynamite Dollars, who represents last year’s winning trainer Paul Nicholls. The Ditcheat handler has landed three of the previous five renewals, so despite his charge giving weight all-round because of a penalty that one is feared most.

Dynamite Dollars is simply a different animal going right-handed, as he proved when scooping the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown last time out. Arkle Trial hero Lalor had him well held on Cheltenham form, but racing clockwise has seen the son of Buck’s Boum record three of his four career successes.

Grade 1 form in the book

Lalor was never really at the races in the Henry VIII during admittedly atrocious conditions. Dynamite Dollars simply handled the situation better, improving past the Kayley Woollacott trained rival when collaring Irish raider Ornua close home and staying on well to score by 1 3/4 lengths. He is thus respected and rates the main danger eased in grade here.

Prior to that, he also demonstrated a great turn of foot to come readily clear of Highway One O One by nine lengths at Market Rasen. Nicholls now has the key to Dynamite Dollars and, judged on that winning reappearance, a flat track like Kempton holds no fears for him.

He met his Sandown rivals off level weights, however, and must now give Kalashnikov 5lb when only officially rated 1lb superior. That is a big ask and, for that reason alone, we are keen to take Dynamite Dollars on. Our 2018 Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase betting tips recommend him to fill the forecast spot instead and chase the favourite home.

Maria’s Benefit an each-way alternative

Stuart Edmunds saddles a really likeable mare in Maria’s Benefit here and, as she gets weight from both Kalashnikov and Dynamite Dollars, is the each-way alternative if the big guns don’t fire. This six-year-old daughter of Beneficial is an Irish point winner that landed a Grade 2 novice event at Doncaster before finishing a fine fourth in the Dawn Run at the Cheltenham Festival.

Maria’s Benefit took on the geldings on reappearance and her first start over fences at Newton Abbot, jumping well for a comfortable nine-length victory. She was then back against her own sex and landed more black type when making all in a Listed contest at Bangor. Her jumping was sound once again and connections now raise her sights higher.

A right-handed sharp flat track is no problem for Maria’s Benefit as demonstrated when she bolted up by 30 lengths around Taunton 12 months ago. She goes particularly well under Ciaran Gethings, who is eight from 10 on her and back among the winners over the weekend before Christmas.

This demands a career best, but Maria’s Benefit clears the large obstacles well and looks the one most likely to capitalise if the market principals don’t live up to expectation. She looks the only credible alternative and completes our 2018 Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase betting tips as an each-way option to consider.

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