Saturday's Kempton Review: Waiting Patiently 10/1 for Ryanair Chase

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The north look to have a genuine Cheltenham Festival contender with the Malcolm Jefferson-trained Waiting Patiently who made it five from five over fences with an impressive eight length victory in Kempton’s 32Red Casino Chase on Saturday afternoon. The mount of Brian Hughes was facing his stiffest task to date in the two mile four and a half furlong contest against a field of proven performers including God’s Own, who claimed the scalps of both Vautour and Simonsig in the 2016 Boylesports Champion Chase at Punchestown, as well as 2015 Hennessy Gold Cup winner Smad Place.

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The seven-year-old son of Flemensfirth had looked a potential top-notcher when beating the Paul Nicholls-trained Politologue at Haydock twelve months ago on his third start over the bigger obstacles, form which has received a massive boost with that horse now clear second favourite behind Altior for March’s Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase. Sent off the 13-8 favourite to beat his five rivals in Saturday’s Listed Race Waiting Patiently produced a telling turn of foot in between the final two fences, leaving runner-up Art Mauresque trailing in his wake.

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Bookmakers reaction was to cut the gelding into a top price 10-1 ( Ladbrokes, Coral and Betvictor ) for the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival with another trip south a possibility in the meantime according to Jefferson’s daughter and assistant Ruth, who said: “ We’ll give him an entry in the Ascot Chase and see what the ground does – if it’s soft or good to soft we’ll give it a go. If he’s fit and well we’ll look at Ascot and then look at Cheltenham, but he wouldn’t run on good ground.”

 

The big handicap on the seven-race card was the 32Red Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle which went to William Henry, providing Nicky Henderson with a fitting wedding present as the Seven Barrows trainer was in Scotland tying the knot. It was the 7-1 winner’s rider however who made the headlines with 5lb claimer James Bowen, fresh from his Welsh Grand National victory aboard Raz De Maree, being described as “ another AP without a doubt “ according to owner Dai Walters. Bowen does not turn 17 for another two months but is close to having his claim reduced to just 3lb. Which powerful stable wins the services of the talented youngster in years to come is uncertain but this is one young man going places.

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