One-time Derby contenders Bogart and Carntop to renew rivalry over jumps
The first and second in the 2016 Lingfield Derby Trial could provide an intriguing race within a race at Kempton on Saturday when Humphrey Bogart and Carntop, part-owned by the Duchess of Cornwall, are set to make their jumping debuts.
After finishing half a length apart at Lingfield, winner Humphrey Bogart went on to finish fifth in the Derby and Carntop fifth in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot, where Humphrey Bogart was sixth.
Their paths are set to cross again for the first time since with both engaged in the Grade 2 Sky Bet Dovecote Novices' Hurdle, an event won in the past by such as Sire De Grugy, Grumeti and Irving.
Humphrey Bogart has been out of action since August 2016 but recently joined Nicky Henderson, who has won the Dovecote three times in the last five years.
James Ramsden, managing director of owners Chelsea Thoroughbreds, said: "I know Nicky was keen to get this first run under his belt. He seems to be doing everything the right way at home and we're optimistic.
"He's coming back from a long time off and he's had a tendon injury. He's not entered at Cheltenham and he'd have to do something seriously impressive on Saturday for us to consider anything to do with that, and that would be down to Nicky. We're not looking any further than Saturday."
Carntop's trainer Jamie Snowden said: "It could be quite exciting. It's a definite plan to run. We're going in at the deep end as stepping straight into a Grade 2 on your hurdling debut is hardly dipping your toe. It's a pretty hardcore entry but he was good on the Flat and has taken well to hurdling.
"If we're going to think about Cheltenham we need to run him beforehand and it would be a shame to win a small race and lose his novice status in April. We might as well do it in a big race."
Carntop was bred by the Duchess of Cornwall and the Prince of Wales, whose share in the horse has been taken by Sir Chips Keswick, the chairman of Arsenal.
Snowden added: "I was lucky enough to ride for the Queen when I was at Nicky Henderson's and I'm very privileged to have the Duchess of Cornwall among our owners now I'm training.
"Carntop's career on the Flat wasn't going upwards, although he reached a decent level. They thought they would see how he took to jumping."
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