Kempton’s Feltham Novices Chase is building up into a Christmas cracker with the pick of the best staying novice chasers in the country looking likely to bid for the three-mile contest on an outstanding Boxing Day card at the Sunbury circuit, writes Elliot Slater.
Grand Crus, runner-up to the legendary Big Buck’s in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival in March and second again to Paul Nicholls’ great horse at Aintree a few weeks later, has already shown that he has what it takes to go a very long way over fences having slammed Champion Court by an impressive 10-lengths on his chasing bow at Cheltenham last month before following up in the Grade 2 GPG Novices Chase a couple of weeks later, beating Sonfovic by two-lengths. People looking at the best ante-post horse racing odds should remember this.
David Pipe’s grey gelding is currently the 5/1 ante-post favourite for the RSA Chase at Cheltenham in March (the ‘novices Gold Cup’), and nothing less than a win will see him retain his position at the head of the market. Bobs Worth, trained by Nicky Henderson, is another quality horse having won the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and already looks smart over fences having got up in the very last stride to beat Cue Card on his chasing bow at Newbury last month.
The current 8/1 shot for the RSA Chase is also expected to take his chance at Kempton, as too is Silviniaco Conti, always very highly regarded by the Nicholls team last year without managing to make the big breakthrough, but who has already looked the real deal in slamming Mad Moose by 25-lengths on his first outing over fences. The French bred gelding is available at up to 16/1 in the ante-post market for the RSA Chase, a price that could well disappear rapidly should he run as well as connections expect on Boxing Day.
25/1, although there is still some 33’s available in the odd place.