Jacob and Al Ferof to lead Nicholls' Kempton team
Paul Nicholls has confirmed Daryl Jacob will partner Al Ferof in the King George VI Chase at Kempton, with Noel Fehily set to continue his association aboard Silviniaco Conti.
The trainer talked down the prospect of Ruby Walsh making another appearance in the race aboard one of his runners, despite his five victories with Kauto Star.
Nicholls finds his pair hard to split. Al Ferof made a pleasing comeback from a year off the track by sauntering clear of French Opera at Ascot, while Silviniaco Conti lost his Betfair Chase crown at Haydock but still finished a respectable third, and will be again taking on the pair that were ahead of him, Cue Card and Dynaste.
"Daryl will definitely ride Al Ferof," Nicholls said. "Ruby is in a different job now. With the lads who own Silviniaco Conti, I could say to them Ruby is there if you want him but I suspect that if Noel is available he'll probably ride him."
Referring to Silviniaco Conti, Nicholls said: "In the paddock at Haydock he looked too heavy really and he ran like that, travelled well from two out looking dangerous, blew up and then stayed on strongly."
Tom Scudamore is looking forward to renewing his partnership with the David Pipe-trained Dynaste, which took last year's Feltham Novices' Chase over the course and distance.
Second to Cue Card on his seasonal return in the the Betfair at Haydock, Scudamore is optimistic his horse can reverse the placings as he feels the grey will improve for the run.
"With Cue Card, he had obviously improved from the Haldon Gold Cup to the Betfair and we're hoping we'll be able to do the same," said the jockey. "But hoping and actually doing it are different things."