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  • Writer's pictureSimon Long


Tom has five booked rides today at Kempton.

12:45 FORWARD FLIGHT - Well behind Charles St at Warwick; something to prove.

Owners - The Barbury Lions 7 - Trainer - Alan King

1:20 AUCUNRISQUE - Likeable sort; another sound run can be expected, but others have more raw ability.

Owners - Goodwin Racing Ltd - Trainer - Chris Gordon

Has quickly developed into a better chaser, winning at Uttoxeter (2m, good to soft)

before going down narrowly in handicap company off 138 at Newbury 32 days ago.

We hope for another sound run today, against some strong opposition.

1:55 TERRESTIA - Needs to pull her socks up if she's to trouble some of these on recent form.

Owners - R Peters And T Ford - Trainer - Lucy Wadham

2:30 EDWARDSTONE - Clear career best to win the Tingle Creek last time; a repeat would make him hard to beat.

Owners - Robert Abrey, Ian Thurtle - Trainer - Alan King

The ground at Kempton is likely to be a mixture of ‘good to soft’ and ‘soft’, which will suit Edwardstone ideally. The official handicapper reckons Barbury’s stable-star has at least 5lb in hand over his rivals, so here’s hoping he’s right and that the impressive Tingle Creek Chase winner can turn on the turbo again at Kempton.

Successful in six of his last seven races – the one blip came when he was beaten at Aintree in April – Edwardstone was victorious at this meeting 12 months ago, winning the Wayward Lad Novice Chase by 10 lengths, and he seems in top form at home.

Alan said:”Edwardstone has come out of Sandown great, and this race fits in perfectly time-wise as it will enable him to then have a break through January before returning for his Queen Mother Champion Chase prep in the Game Spirit at Newbury in February.”

Alan has almost worn out the tape of the Tingle Creek, and, reflecting on that demolition job, he added:”It really did blow me away. I knew that Edwardstone would run well, but wasn’t expecting a performance like that first time out. He travelled and jumped super, but it was the manner in which he shot clear after the second last that took my breath away. It gave me a real buzz.”

Whatever Christmas presents Santa might leave me tomorrow, I plan to keep back a bottle of my best champagne until Tuesday, hoping we might all get our number one wish for the Festive period, victory for Edwardstone in the Grade 2 Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton.

The fast pace in the Tingle Creek at Sandown was just what the doctor ordered for Edwardstone to be able to play to his strengths, and, with easy Shloer Chase winner Nube Negra, seemingly his most dangerous rival and a likely opponent, we could be blessed with an end-to-end gallop,

That said, Edwardstone settles so much better this year. He switches off and is more relaxed, enabling Tom Cannon to keep that telling burst of speed on ice until the business end of a race, so however the race unfolds we know that on form our fellow holds all the ace cards.

3:09 STRIKING A POSE - May well improve for this return to 3m; attractively treated; one to consider.

Owners - I & C Gosden, M Sharp & G Kennington - Trainer - Joe Tizzard

Photo - Edwardstone


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