MODUS TO TACKLE THREE MILES FOR FIRST TIME IN KEMPTON'S BIG HANDICAP CHASE
I’m off to Kempton on Saturday afternoon for a book of five rides that will hopefully yield a winner.
The feature race on the card is the 888Sport Handicap Chase (3.35) and I ride MODUS for Paul Nicholls. He has struggled a bit off his revised mark since winning at Cheltenham earlier this season.
He steps up to three miles for the first time here and the hope is that it will suit and will bring about some improvement in him. He won over two-mile five-furlongs over hurdles a few years ago, so he must have a good chance of getting three miles around here.
Modus has run at Kempton twice in his life and won both times, so it would be great if he could maintain that record here, but I’d be more so just hopeful rather than confident.
I ride I K BRUNEL for Olly Murphy in the Sky Bet Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle (3.00). I don’t know loads about him, but considering it was his hurdling debut and only the second run of his life, I thought he ran very well to finish third to Elizir De Nutz and Jarveys Plate at Cheltenham last time.
He should be all the sharper for that experience and while this is clearly a very good race, I’d be hoping that he can take a good step in the right direction and run a good race.
Angel’s Breath is the one that most people will be focusing on in the race and it will be interesting to see how he goes. He is the one they have all been raving about in Nicky’s all season, so what he did on his hurdling debut at Ascot was no surprise to anyone.
He probably has a bit more on his plate here, but he will be tough to beat.
Earlier on the card I ride the Jonjo O’Neill-trained PAGERO in the 888Sport Take ‘Em On Adonis Juvenile Hurdle (2.25). He showed useful form on the Flat in France, but he only hinted at promise on his hurdling debut in a Grade 2 juvenile hurdle at Cheltenham. I’d be hopeful that he can show the benefit of that experience and run a better race here.
My first ride on the card is in the opening 888Ssport Handicap Hurdle (1.15) on the Jonjo O’Neill-trained CALL TO ORDER. I rode him at Ascot in November and he never went a yard for me, so hopefully he shows much more tomorrow! He ran better on his latest start, but will need to build on that again to go close here.
I finish my day in the concluding bumper on the Nicky Henderson-trained CHANTRY HOUSE (4.45). He won a point-to-point at Tattersalls Farm, beating a nice horse of Liz Doyle’s that was second in a maiden hurdle at Naas a few weeks ago.
I rode him work a few weeks ago and he’s a nice type. The fact that Nicky is sending him to Kempton for a bumper suggests that he likes him too. I’m looking forward to riding him.