Grade Two Pendil Novices' Chase Guide 2022

James Mackie | @jamesmackieee

Kempton - February 26 2022
Kempton 14:25
Harry Cobden

Pic D'Orhy

J: Harry Cobden
T: Paul Nicholls
Age: 7
Weight: 11-5
OR: 154
Days: 21

The highest rated horse in the contest who looks to get back to winning ways after finishing third behind L’Homme Presse and Mister Coffey in the Grade 1 Scilly Isles last time out, he was a well beaten by 27 lengths that day, but the two horses ahead of him look to be nice prospects going forward.

The Paul Nicholls charge is already a Grade 2 winner this season, and he was very impressive when winning the Howden Noel Novices Chase at Ascot in November last year, beating Faivoir by 9 lengths after a superb round of jumping.

He likes to be up there with the pace and should there be a decent pace in the race, that will suit down to his strengths. He is a solid jumper and will suit the flatter track of Kempton, with the step down in class he is a worthy favourite in this race, as he bids to land his second Grade 2 race of the season for a yard who are starting to find the winners again after a quiet few weeks.

Grade 2 winner at Ascot in November, a distant third last time out in the Grade 1 Scilly Isles Chase at Sandown but was beaten by two nice horses, back down in class and in calmer waters should get the best out of this horse.

The one to beat.

Kempton - February 26 2022
Kempton 14:25
Brian Hughes

Minella Drama

J: Brian Hughes
T: Donald McCain
Age: 7
Weight: 11-5
OR: 147
Days: 35

Donald McCain has his horses in brilliant form at present, currently operating at a 30%-win strike rate for the last 14 days, with 8 winners in just 27 runners in the process.

His mount in this contest arrives off the back of a fantastic 9 and a half-length Grade 2 win at Haydock last time out, after a brilliant jumping display.

He raced wide on occasions and Brian Hughes looked to keep on the better ground, and that worked to full effect, as he stayed on down the home straight superbly before jumping the last in splendid isolation to win eased down.

That performance last time out was by far a career best for the son of Flemensfirth, who has improved with each run he has produced in his career.

The form in the last race is questionable however, and he will need to step up again to beat the Paul Nicholls horse, but he is clearly an improving horse for an in form yard, so he will run very well in this.

Also, a Grade 2 winner this season, which was a career best for this horse, 9 and a half-length winner at Haydock last time out and he could serve it up to the favourite in this with the red-hot Brian Hughes booked to ride again.

Kempton - February 26 2022
Kempton 14:25
Kielan Woods

Millers Bank

J: Kielan Woods
T: Alex Hales
Age: 8
Weight: 11-0
OR: 147
Days: 56

The Alex Hales horse has been slightly unlucky in his last few runs, unseating in both starts which were both Grade 2’s at Newbury and Cheltenham after a chasing debut win at Huntingdon back in October last year, jumping like a natural to then win comfortably by 11 lengths which could have been more had they really asked him.

It can be quite concerning though when a horse has only completed 1 out of his three runs over the larger obstacles, as jumping is the aim of the game when it comes to operating over fences, but should he reproduce an effort like he did back in October, he will run well in this against slightly more exposed horses than he is.

Has only completed once in three starts over fences but was very impressive on chasing debut back in October, should he reproduce that effort then he could run well and upset the main two in the market.

Kempton - February 26 2022
Kempton 14:25
Nico de Boinville

Fantastic Lady

J: Nico de Boinville
T: Nicky Henderson
Age: 7
Weight: 10-7
OR: 137
Days: 15

The only mare in the field who has that usual mare’s allowance in this, she is also considerably lower rated than the main protagonists in the field, but she arrives at this race in decent form for a very much in form Nicky Henderson yard.

She comes into the race off the back of a two-race win streak, coming from Warwick and Bangor, winning both races by a combined 11 and a half lengths after a fairly disappointing chase debut at Wincanton back in December last year.

She’s another horse in this contest that looks to be a solid jumper, who will appreciate the quicker paced race and the good to soft conditions.

She will have to step up her form to the next level to land a Graded race at the first time of asking over fences, but the mare’s allowance will play a huge part in this race against some more exposed sorts.

Nicky Henderson has his horses in fine form this season, and this horse could add to the Graded tally for the season.

Currently on a two-race winning streak over fences, taking her tally to 2 wins in 3 runs over the larger obstacles, has the mares' allowance but needs to step up form to win a race of this nature, against other Graded horses.

Kempton - February 26 2022
Kempton 14:25
Sam Twiston-Davies

Goa Lil

J: Sam Twiston-Davies
T: Nigel Twiston-Davies
Age: 6
Weight: 11-0
OR: 123
Days: 6

The lowest rated horse in the field by some distance, has been in fairly decent form recently, but has already had a busy season running 12 times since last May, running all through the summer and winter.

The busy schedule might start to take its toll on this horse, and he hasn’t run in a race of this nature before.

He does get a 5lb allowance but judging by his rating he needs to massively step up to land a blow in this. Others preferred in this field.