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Gold Present leads the way as 19 stand their ground for Kempton feature

Mon 19 Feb 2018

Gold Present heads the weights for the Racing UK Handicap Chase after 19 horses were confirmed at the five-day stage for Saturday's three-mile feature at Kempton.

The eight-year-old, trained by Nicky Henderson, has won both starts this season but was denied the chance of a hat-trick last Saturday when he was a late withdrawal at Ascot because of a slight setback.

Henderson also has course winner Josses Hill, who was a well-beaten fifth behind Betfair Ascot Chase hero Waiting Patiently on this track last month.

With original top-weight Frodon, who was third behind that horse on Saturday, taken out of this race, the weights have gone up 9lb.

Ante-post favourite Acting Lass has stood his ground, as has his Harry Fry-trained stablemate Wotzizname.

Paul Nicholls is triple-handed with Art Mauresque, As De Mee and Sametegal, while other trainers with two representatives are Nigel Twiston-Davies with Tintern Theatre and Ballykan and Charlie Longsdon, who has Loose Chips and Monbeg Charmer.

Longsdon reports Loose Chips to be on course for the race whatever the weather, but he would like the ground to dry out for Monbeg Charmer.

"Loose Chips will probably go no matter what. I'd also be keen to run Monbeg Charmer but it would need to dry out a little bit. I wouldn't want the ground too soft for him," said the Chipping Norton handler.

"I'm very pleased with both horses.

"They are both in the handicap now, so at least we've got that to look forward to. It gives us something to aim at.

"I'd like them both to go if they can."

Theatre Guide could take his chance again for Coin Tizzard having finished third to Pilgrims Bay 12 months ago and won the race in 2016.

Others in the mix include Jonjo O'Neill's Go Conquer and Vibrato Valtat from Emma Lavelle's stable.

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