Lord of the River will be out to prove he is back to his best at Kempton this weekend
There could be a handicap certainty lurking towards the bottom of the handicap in the Racing Post Chase at Kempton on Saturday.
Nicky Henderson’s Lord of the River, who has not run since finishing second to subsequent Gold Cup winner Looks Like Trouble in the SunAlliance Chase at Cheltenham three seasons ago, should win if he’s half the horse he was then.
During the 1998-99 season he won the Feltham and Reynoldstown Novices Chases when leading Gold Cup hope Marlborough was among his victims. He suffered injury in his last run and has since switched stables from Oliver Sherwood to Henderson.
There are few better at producing a horse at its peak on a given day than Henderson, and it will be some training performance if he can bring Lord of the River back to win such a competitive handicap.
The field is bristling with dangers. None less than Peter Marsh winner Red Striker and Gunther McBride, the mount of Richard Johnson who is bidding for a Racing Post hat-trick following his successes on Gloria Victis and Young Spartacus.
In addition to Norman Mason’s Red Striker, Nicky Richards’s Paperising and Ferdy Murphy’s pair Occold and Luzcadou travel south with strong credentials.
Red Striker’s stable companion Red Ark may complete a hat-trick at the expense of the unreliable Irbee in the Emblem Chase,while Guillaume Macaire’s Tempo d’Or travels from France with the right credentials for the Adonis Juvenile Hurdle.
Adrian Maguire has elected to stick with Streamstown in Haydock Park’s £100,000 De Vere Gold Cup. The Irishman won the Singer and Friedlander National Trial at Uttoxeter on the eight-year-old and the tip may be worth taking. Tony McCoy’s mount Take Control will be a big threat.
Jonjo O’Neill is enjoying his best season and his Jackdaws Stable is fast approaching the 100-winners mark. Miros, among the leading novice hurdlers, dropped dead on O’Neill’s gallops on Tuesday but the winners have continued and Keen Leader may continue the momentum in the De Vere Prestige Novices’ Hurdle.