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Kempton Park

  • 14:00 williamhill.com Feltham Novices' Chase 3m

  • (In Memory Of Nigel Clark) (Grade 1) £40,000 added 4yo+ 6 ran
  • Winner £22,780 2nd £8,548 3rd £4,280 4th £2,132
  • Going: Good to Soft, Good in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 6m 1.80s
  • Off time: 14:00:10

Worth the entrance fee

View from connections: williamhill.com Feltham Novices' Chase

Last Updated: 23/12/11 4:59pm

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Grands Crus: Feltham favourite

Grands Crus: Feltham favourite

David Pipe's grey Grands Crus adds further star quality to an already glittering Boxing Day card at Kempton as he takes his next step up the ladder in the williamhill.com Feltham Novices' Chase.

The three-mile Grade One is a frequent breeding ground for future champions, with Jair du Cochet and the ill-fated Gloria Victis winning over the last decade or so, while the most recent graduate was the King George hero Long Run back in 2009.

Grands Crus beat all bar the legendary Big Buck's over three miles and hurdles last season, but has always been viewed as a future chaser and nothing he has shown in two races to date over fences has changed that opinion.

Slick jumping saw the six-year-old collect at Cheltenham and Newbury with consummate ease but he will face a stern test in the Feltham as Nicky Henderson's Bobs Worth also looks set for big things.

"It looks a very hot race with Bobs Worth and Silviniaco Conti in there and I would expect them both to improve for stepping up in trip," said Pipe.

"Grands Crus is in good form and this race has been the plan for a while. Everything looks right for him, I don't think going right-handed will be a problem although I would prefer softer ground for him.

"We have what we have and what he's done so far in two races over fences he has done well. This is the next step and will tell us a lot."

Festival Winner

While Grands Crus is without a win at the Cheltenham Festival to date, Bobs Worth scored in March in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle.

He is a horse close to jockey Barry Geraghty's heart as he bought him as a yearling and made a perfect start over fences when reeling in the speedy Cue Card over a shorter trip. His only defeat so far came in a bumper on his debut at Kempton in early 2010.

"He schooled this morning for Barry, everything is great and he seems in good form," said Henderson.

"He's jumped well and worked well, so I'm happy. It's going to be a hell of a race.

"He did everything right at Newbury. It was two and a half miles and yes he only just got there, but he did nothing wrong."

Further Strength

Adding further strength in depth is Paul Nicholls' representative Silviniaco Conti, a smart hurdler himself.

Beaten by Cue Card at Chepstow on his chasing debut, he looked much more the finished article at Wincanton on his next start.

"He's going there in good form and I think he'll run well as the race has been the plan all season," Nicholls said.

Representing the north is Sue Smith's Mr Moonshine, an impressive winner at Carlisle and Haydock this season who was by no means disgraced in open company when third in the Peterborough Chase.

Rebecca Curtis has given Teaforthree the go-ahead, and the form of his defeat of Restless Harry at Chepstow was boosted when the third, Cannington Brook, won the Tommy Whittle last weekend.

Completing the classy six-runner field is Suzy Smith's Emmaslegend, who has won her last two races by an aggregate of 32 lengths.

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