Classy Top Notch Can Land Listed Chase at Kempton
Top Notch returns to fences tomorrow after a very pleasing run over hurdles to get him sharp last time out, and he looks to have a great chance of winning on his chase return tomorrow. He faces four rivals in the listed chase at Kempton, and a good run here would cement his place at the Cheltenham Festival, more than likely in the Ryanair Chase.
Another horse that is putting his Cheltenham credentials on the line is Charbel and after performing well at two miles he is stepping up in distance with the Ryanair also on his agenda. These two look as though they have the race between them, and they are likely to give us an exciting matchup.
It was the Grade One Long Walk hurdle where we saw Top Notch make his seasonal reappearance, with Nicky Henderson opting to send him over hurdles for one run to get him spot on for this. This is something he did last season too, he finished third on seasonal debut over hurdles before winning a Grade Two chase race. This season, he again finished third over hurdles and tomorrow he runs in a Grade Two chase race, history could be about to repeat itself.
Of the other runners, Black Corton would have a small chance at the weights, receiving three pounds from the top two although it is likely that he will need them both to run below par to win this, and he has to bounce back from a poor run last time.
Both Top Notch and Charbel are looking to show they can be serious contenders for the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, and the winner of this race is likely to be shortened for that race. I fancy Top Notch out of the two, he made a very pleasing return over hurdles and can build on that by winning this race.