Bryony Frost teams up with her favourite horse Black Corton once again in Saturday’s 32Red Casino Chase at Kempton.
Frost and the eight-year-old combined for seven wins last season, highlighted by a Grade One victory in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at the Sunbury venue.
This season they finished second to Definitly Red in the Charlie Hall Chase before the combination of a big weight and soft ground proved too much when pulled up in the Ladbrokes Trophy.
Frost said: “He is in brilliant order at home and looks fantastic. He still hasn’t had a clip, that is how well his coat looks, and you will see that on Saturday. He is gleaming and in good heart.
“It was very soft ground in the Ladbrokes and we had a lot of weight. He is not the biggest lad. It was a big ask and you had to go and try.
“I know him well and when it wasn’t working, I just felt we’d go another day.
“He went home and he was fine. He was just tired for a few days, but he was bound to be after a race like that. I just want to get him back on track. I want to get him back in the mix of it.”
With trainer Paul Nicholls enjoying his annual holiday in Barbados, assistant Harry Derham is currently holding the fort and said: “It was probably nearly a career best from him at Wetherby, but the Ladbrokes Trophy was a horrible experience carrying that weight in that ground.
“It will be nice to get a run under his belt and get his confidence back. He is A1 and Bryony schooled him in the week.
“The better ground will help him as he got stuck in the mud at Newbury. He seems fresh and well and is ready to run a good race. Kempton really suits him as he does lean a bit right and a flat, easy track is ideal for him.”
Conceding 3lb to Black Corton is Kim Bailey’s Charbel, who put up a sparkling display last time out to win the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon.
“Two and a half miles on goodish ground would look to be fine for him and we’re taking on the Henderson horse (Top Notch) at level weights,” said Bailey.
“The last time we met him, we beat him a neck, so there’s not much between them.
“It should be an interesting race. He’s in good form and I’m really happy with him.”
With David Bass in action at Warwick, Noel Fehily comes in for the ride.
Top Notch is back over fences having made his seasonal debut in the Long Walk Hurdle, finishing third behind Paisley Park. The field is completed by Hammersly Lake and Speredek.