Nicholls aiming to extend formidable record with Frodon
BetBright Best For Festival Betting Pendil Novices' Chase (Grade 2) | 2m4½f, 5yo+ | ITV4/RUK
The talented and consistent Frodon will attempt to win for the sixth time over fences since September in this Grade 2 event.
Last time out the five-year-old made all at Musselburgh to defeat three rivals and he faces the same number of opponents here in a race that often has a small field.
It is also a race Frodon's trainer Paul Nicholls has dominated. In the last ten years he has won it seven times, and on the chances of Frodon delivering another win, he said: "He keeps doing us proud. He won nicely the other day, is in good shape and has a big chance."
The conditions of the race tempted Harry Fry to run Charmix, as the trainer explained.
"He looked like winning last time out at Exeter before dumping Noel [Fehily] on the ground at the second-last and we got an 8lb rise for that," Fry said.
"We had him in a handicap on Thursday but in Saturday's race he benefits from not winning last time as he doesn't have a 4lb penalty. With so few runners we thought he was worth chancing. Frodon is the one to beat."
Gold Present made a winning start to life over fences at Doncaster but failed to fire next time at Kempton. He returns for Nicky Henderson, who said: "The first time he was very good and then he was disappointing. He'd love good ground."
Outsider Zigger Zagger completes the quartet for Richard Rowe.
Chance to see Henderson festival team
Early birds at Kempton could glean some Cheltenham Festival clues, with Nicky Henderson working some of his team before racing.
Stan James Champion Hurdle hope Brain Power, Josses Hill and Peace And Co are all slated to exercise at 12.30pm.
Henderson is most definitely one of around 80 per cent of trainers opposed to the Jockey Club's plans to sell Kempton for housing, and likes to work his festival prospects at the track.
The trainer said on Friday: "It always has good ground, which is why Kempton needs to be kept as a racecourse. There is not much point having good ground in a housing estate."
Clerk of the course Barney Clifford left the ground as good, good to soft in places on Friday, and said: "It's drying out, there's the risk of a shower overnight.
"It's good in the main and a little bit easier round by the lake bend. It might end up being just good ground tomorrow."