herald

Sunday 19 August 2018

Roach accepts class and trip pose questions for Nightingale

Owner Graham Roach admits to having slight stamina doubts regarding gambled-on The Nightingale in tomorrow's rearranged William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton.

Ever since trainer Paul Nicholls suggested the likely soft ground would be in his favour his price has tumbled.

Now third-choice with the bookmakers, the secret is well and truly out about the second-season novice.

He has only run once this term, at Down Royal where he ran out an easy winner of a Grade Two event.

Roach concedes that the eight-year-old faces a marked step up in class over a trip he has never run over before.

"The big 'if' has to be if he good enough for the company and will he get the trip," said Roach. "He's never run over it before but a lot of people seem to think he can.

"Kauto Star is the best horse for donkeys' years, but there is always a young pretender."

As well as the Nicholls pair seven others will go to post.

Nicky Henderson looks like posing the biggest threat to Kauto Star with the much-hyped Long Run and Riverside Theatre.

Last season's runner-up Madison Du Berlais will represent David Pipe and will be ridden by Danny Cook in the absence of the injured Tom Scudamore.

Charlie Hall Chase winner Nacarat will be ridden by Paddy Brennan for Tom George, while Jonjo O'Neill has declared Albertas Run.

Philip Hobbs' Planet Of Sound, the Punchestown Gold Cup winner, will also take his chance.

The sole Irish challenger is Tom Cooper's Forpadydeplasterer.

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