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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Kempton card offers final chance to seal festival spots

Captain Chris (left): won the Pendil before going on to Arkle success at Cheltenham
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Kempton's meeting on Saturday offers perhaps one final chance for horses to earn their place at Cheltenham and we take a look at a few who used it as a springboard for festival glory in recent years.

Flying Tiger (2017)
A respectable fourth in the Adonis sealed a place in the Fred Winter line-up a month later when champion jockey Richard Johnson steered the Soldier Of Fortune gelding to a 33-1 success.

Present View (2014)
The former star of Jamie Snowden's stable was a ready winner of the 2m4½f handicap chase on the Kempton card before giving the yard a memorable first festival triumph in the novice handicap chase now known as the Close Brothers.

Hunt Ball (2012)
Already a star of the campaign thanks to his rapid rise through the handicap ranks, Hunt Ball bolted up in Kempton's 2m4½f handicap chase and it was the same story at Cheltenham in the novice handicap.

Une Artiste (2012)
Not up to winning the Adonis in which she finished a well-beaten fourth, this filly – owned by Simon Munir and trained by Nicky Henderson – bounced back to spring a 40-1 shock in the Fred Winter at Cheltenham.

Hunt Ball: made a rapid rise through handicaps resulting in a festival victory

Captain Chris (2011)
Held in the highest regard by connections, Diana Whateley's gelding thumped his two rivals in the Pendil and then went on to power away from subsequent Champion Chase hero Finian's Rainbow in the Arkle.

Zarkandar (2011)
The French import made a winning hurdles debut in the Adonis for Paul Nicholls prior to doubling up at the festival when he clinched the 23-runner Triumph a month later.

Soldatino (2010)
Among Simon Munir's first major winners, Soldatino went off at 7-4 for his British debut in the Adonis and the Nicky Henderson-trained gelding duly delivered before staying on well to also claim the Triumph under Barry Geraghty.


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He thumped his two rivals in the Pendil and then went on to power away from subsequent Champion Chase hero Finian's Rainbow in the Arkle

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