The Racing Post Chase is the highlight of a splendid card at Kempton, providing the course survives an early-morning inspection. Nineteen runners have been lured to south-west London by £100,000 in prize money, the biggest field in the history of the race.
For punters too this race has plenty of appeal. It's a fascinating puzzle and so competitive that the bookies are likely to price the field at around 8/1 bar two horses. The two at the top of the betting are Farmer Jack and Colonel Frank.
Both are on the upgrade worthy of respect. Farmer Jack is 11 lb better treated in this race than he will be in future handicaps, having won the Aon Chase impressively last time out. The horse won't know this and he still has to lump around top-weight in conditions that look sure to be testing. Colonel Frank, a proven stayer, is the better bet of the market leaders. However, through the magic lens of hindsight the form of Colonel Frank's last win at Sandown looks a tad weak. Another horse on the upgrade is Ferdy Murphy's Tribal Venture. This classy French-bred grey has a date with destiny in the Royal & SunAlliance Chase in three weeks and a win here will make him a warm order at Cheltenham.
Tribal Venture is only a novice but has form over course and distance. At forecast double-digit odds Tribal Venture is a tempting each-way bet.
In the novices' chase rely on Nicky Henderson's Mambo. Although he has been off the track for most of the winter after being pulled up at Cheltenham in November, the form of his previous win at Sandown looks rock solid. The second horse, Lacdoudal, has since won three times and the third, Le Passing, twice.
2.40 Kempton: Mambo (win)
3.45 Kempton: Tribal Venture (each-way)