1pt win La Bague Au Roi @15/2, 13.55 Kempton, Wednesday

Santini is a solid favourite for the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase but I’m keen to take him on as he’s graduated from a generation of novice hurdlers who have been pants in open company over hurdles this season, and the best of his form last year hasn’t yet added up to much.

This is a chase but the sentiment holds true, and a line through Lostintranslation’s defeat to Black Op at Aintree last season suggests Santini will really struggle to give LA BAGUE AU ROI her mares’ allowance, as she brushed him aside at Newbury on her last start despite running with a penalty.

Poor runs at the Cheltenham Festival contribute a lot of doubt to her Grade 1 class, but Cheltenham is an awkward track and totally different to Kempton, which should suit better, and Warren Greatrex has always thought the world of this mare who looks a natural over fences and great value at 15/2.

The other one I have a lot of time for is The Worlds End, who has always threatened to be a Grade 1 horse and looked very good when running away with a novice chase at Cheltenham on his last start.

Good ground seems key to him, which he gets, and he should run well, while Topofthegame – one of my favourite horses in training – doesn’t look an obvious Kempton type as he’s not the fastest and has plenty to improve upon in the jumping department.

1pt win La Bague Au Roi @15/2, 13.55 Kempton, Wednesday

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