Bury Parade 7-2 favourite for Saturday’s big handicap chase
Paul Nicholls has had more near-misses than winners on recent Saturday’s but is looking to Bury Parade to end that frustrating sequence at Kempton. He is one of three runners still engaged in the three-mile handicap chase and will be trying to overcome a 10lbs weights rise.
The impressive Ascot winner is likely to be joined by Grandioso and Jump City. Bury Parade is 5lbs worse off with Grandioso for 5 lengths but looked value for further.
He had previously refused to race at Exeter after making all here in November. Noel Fehily rides the favourite with Daryl Jacob partnering Grandioso in a race that Nicholls won in 2008 with Gungadu.
The race, formerly known as the Racing Post Chase, has often proved to be a fair Grand National trial but most of the ante-post favourites have been taken out due to the ground. Nicky Henderson withdrew Hadrian’s Approach and Grand National hope Triolo D’Alene leaving only top weight Rajdhani Express.
Philip Hobbs enjoyed big race success with Captain Chris last weekend and now relies on the veteran Planet Of Sound. The 12-year-old beat Jump City by two lengths here in January and is now 4lbs worse off at the weights.
Alan King could be doubly represented with Bless The Wings and Midnight Appeal. Bless The Wings was a fair fourth at Ascot in November while Midnight Appeal was a gallant second under a big weight here recently.
Other fancied runners include Ardkilly Witness, Whats Happening and Baile Anrai. Trainer Tom George won this race twice with Nacarat and could have each-way claims with Whats Happening, runner-up at Leicester last month.
The Grade 2 Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle could see a clash between Supreme Novices’ Hurdle hopes Irving and First Mohican. Irving was a late withdrawal from the Betfair Hurdle because of the heavy ground while First Mohican is a smart recruit from the flat who won well at Doncaster on his debut.