2pts win Ar Mad @3/1, Kempton 13:05

Whilst the return to form of established favourites Sprinter Sacre and Sire De Grugy along with the promise of Willie Mullins’s Un De Sceaux has created plenty of hullabaloo around the two-mile chasing division, besides Douvan – an impressive winner yesterday at Leopardstown – there’s one rising star in the novices’ division that’s flown slightly under the radar.

Ar Mad was scintillating at Sandown’s Tingle Creek meeting and his ten-length demolition of the well-fancied Bristol De Mai was run in a faster time than the Grade-1 Tingle Creek Chase won by his stablemate Sire De Grugy later on the card.

It was a quite brilliant performance from the novice which, after pinging the first few fences in great style, had me rushing to Betfair’s Exchange to bet in play.

He looked to thoroughly stay two miles, so the slightly softer going at Kempton doesn’t look to be a negative, and his preference for going right-handed has this race tailor-made for him.

Nicky Henderson’s Vaniteux is the odds-on favourite after a facile chase debut over course and distance last month, but was frequently outpaced as a hurdler and might find Ar Mad’s trailblazing too hot to handle if he’s taken out of his comfort zone.

Despite him receiving a handy 2lbs from the selection, I was so taken by Ar Mad’s Sandown run that the 3/1 available looks a steal.

2pts win Ar Mad @3/1, Kempton 13:05

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