Harry Fry has made an incredibly bright start to his training career and he returns to the scene of his first big triumph on Saturday at Kempton.
It was three years ago when the seven-year-old novice Opening Batsman landed the Racing Plus Chase, beating Rolling Aces, ironically trained by Fry’s former boss Paul Nicholls.
Opening Batsman is back for more in tomorrow’s BetBright Chase (3.35pm), but it’s the young handler’s other entry – another seven-year-old novice – THOMAS BROWN that catches the eye.
The son of Sir Harry Lewis is two from three over fences and was particularly impressive at Doncaster last time when stepped up to three miles.
This trip on decent ground is right up his alley and with the in-form Noel Fehily taking the ride, there’s plenty to like about Thomas Brown’s chances at 8/1 with Betway.
Champagne West is a big danger but his jumping lets him down, Ziga Boy has gone up plenty in the weights, and La Reve, although solid, saves his very best form for Sandown.
Theatre Guide and Ruben Cotter both look like interesting contenders, but I’m happy to side with Thomas Brown.
Nicholls has had a vice-like grip on the Pendil Novices’ Chase (2.35pm), winning eight of the last 10 runnings.
This year’s contest doesn’t look the hottest on paper and he has two potential contenders in AS DE MEE and Mon Successeur.
At this stage, we don’t know who is running, but I would favour the former, even though he’s yet to win in five chase starts.
As De Mee has been taking on some very decent horses and his second to Bristol De Mai last time was a really solid effort.
Hopefully he can break his duck and give his trainer an astonishing ninth success in the race.
As De Mee, 2.35pm, Kempton
Thomas Brown e/w, 3.35pm, Kempton