Nicky Henderson is bang in form with nine winners and seven placed runners from his last 24 runners and can add to last year's success in the Listed 32 Red Casino Chase at Kempton on Saturday night.
A former Hennessy winner, Triolo D'Alene, overcame a year's absence to win this contest last year but his trainer has two more up and coming chasers remaining entered at the four-day-stage.
O O Seven had smart form over hurdles and finished last season's campaign with an excellent second in the Grade 1 Tattersalls Ireland Champion Novice Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival. He transferred that level of form to a fine chasing debut when looking a natural over the Cheltenham fences with a convincing success back in November. It therefore came as a surprise when he was subsequently turned over at short odds when upped to three miles at Doncaster last month. While the drop back to 2m4f looks an obvious plus at Kempton, the Doncaster run was still well below his best although he has reportedly worked well since. The seven-year-old also holds entries at Wetherby and Warwick on Saturday as well as at Huntingdon on Friday and wherever he chooses to run he could easily bounce back to form.
Vaniteux, who is also entered at Kelso on Sunday, is another interesting entry at Kempton for Henderson. The now eight-year-old was a classy hurdler who quickly made a strong impression over fences two years ago when readily disposing of Qewy at this course on chasing debut. His novice season was impressive and would have probably finished runner-up to Douvan but for falling two out in the Arkle at the Cheltenham Festival. Jumping issues hampered him again when third on this year's seasonal reappearance in a strong Ascot handicap chase behind Sire De Grugy before failing to quicken having travelled strongly when third again at Cheltenham last start. Saturday represents a step back up in distance but it's hard to know exactly what his best trip is and he is a horse who needs everything to go his way.
Other notable four-day entries on Saturday include the Philip Hobbs-trained Royal Regatta who would be having his first run since an excellent Grade 2 success at Ascot in November and the Venetia Williams-trained Aso who has been impressive in three starts this campaign which included a runner-up to Frodon in Cheltenham's Caspian Caviar Gold Cup before a handicap win at the same track.
Kempton is live on Sky Racing on Saturday night.
Listed - East Cape Nursery
Listed - Native Upmanship Novice Chase
Listed - Oaks Trial
Listed - Derby Trial
G3 - Sycamore Sprint