Paul Nicholls: Fabulous chance for Mc to return to winning ways at Kempton


Penalty makes life tougher but should go well

12:35 – Barbados Buck’s

He is much stronger this season and has come into his own since stepping up in trip to three miles, winning twice at Southwell. He is now up to a mark of 131 and should go well again despite a 10lbs penalty in a slightly better race.

Trip and switch to Kempton looks perfect

14:20 – McFabulous

Switching this race to Kempton from Cheltenham’s abandoned card on New Year’s Day is a big plus for McFabulous. I was a bit nervous about him on deep ground at Cheltenham and he will much happier on better ground at Kempton where he was so impressive over this distance in the EBF final just before lockdown. He ran very well when third to Thyme Hill and Paisley Park at Newbury and this trip looks perfect for him.

Big run expected but Aura the one to beat

14:55 – Master Tommytucker

His jumping has improved a lot since he was last at Kempton and this looks a nice race for him with only a handful of runners. I thought he ran all right for a long way off top weight and learned plenty in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham which was a seriously competitive race. I am expecting a big run from Master Tommytucker with Imperial Aura the one to beat.

Tough for Solo but Amour can get in the mix

15:30 – Solo & Amour de Nuit

Solo has got plenty to do in this carrying 11st 12lbs and his mark probably needs to drop a few more pounds for him to be competitive. But this first try at two miles, five furlongs looks more suitable and I do expect him to come into his own next season over fences just like Clan Des Obeaux, Tommy Silver and Frodon who all finished in much the same place as Solo when they ran in the Triumph Hurdle.


Amour de Nuit could be interesting in this ridden by the smart conditional Kevin Brogan who impressed on his first ride for me at Taunton last month. Amour de Nuit ran very well at Newbury last time and has a chance of being in the mix again with Kevin taking off a valuable 7lbs.

Easier race but she’s on a stiff mark

15:57 – Malaya

Kevin also partners Malaya who was due to run on Friday at Taunton until that meeting was called off. She is on a very stiff handicap mark and needs to bounce back after she finished out of the frame in the Betfair Exchange Trophy Hurdle at Ascot just before Christmas. This looks more Malaya’s cup of tea though two miles round Kempton might just be on the sharp side for her.


Collonges looks a leading player

11:52 – Flash Collonges & Broken Halo (NON-RUNNER)

Flash Collonges is a nice prospect who won tidily at Exeter before an unlucky fall at Doncaster. He was then just chinned at Newbury when he was a bit green and babyish in a tight finish. That is decent form and there is lots of improvement to come from Flash Collonges who looks a leading player in this.

Broken Halo (NON-RUNNER) is a promising recruit, a big horse who won his only point-ro-point at Inch in Ireland last April. He has been a bit backward but would have run by now but for a couple of niggling little issues which means that he has taken time to come to hand. Broken Halo is a chaser in the making and I expect him to improve for the outing.

12:25 – Force Ten (NON-RUNNER)

He hasn’t shown too much in two starts at Plumpton and Taunton and is another of ours who looks one for the future in handicaps.

Can run well but Sam is the one to beat

13:30 – Take Your Time

He looked good when winning on his second outing for us in a novice hurdle at Lingfield and then stayed on to finish second at Chepstow last time where he didn’t jump as well as he can. Bryony thinks he might be more effective going right handed and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him run well with Sizeable Sam the one they all have to beat.

Lots in his favour so looking for a bit more from him

14:35 – Capeland

I am looking for a bit more from Capeland with conditions in his favour at a flat track that we know plays to his strengths. Our in form amateur Angus Cheleda also claims a handy 7lbs.

Getting better and should run a solid race

15:45 – Glajou

He won well with the help of cheek pieces on his second start over fences at Southwell and then wasn’t beaten too far when third at Taunton to Master Work off a 7lbs higher mark. He is only five, is getting better and should run another solid race under his big weight.