Knight banking on Somersby to keep up Huntingdon record
Henrietta Knight, who has saddled the winner of Huntingdon's Peterborough Chase eight times, tries for another today with Somersby.
However, another female trainer, Sue Smith, is aiming to delay Knight's name being engraved on the trophy for a ninth time. Smith has had her horses in terrific form over the last month and today she runs the novice Mr Moonshine, which, after two facile wins over fences this season, is shooting up the ratings.
Jumping is not usually a problem with Smith's horses, so his relative inexperience -- just three starts over fences -- should not be a hindrance and he's not slow. "There weren't too many options," said his jockey Henry Oliver yesterday. "There are some class acts in the race, but they've all got little question marks. Our horse is in great form and I'd be disappointed if he didn't run a big race."
Knight -- who has won the race with Edredon Bleu (four times), Racing Demon (twice), Best Mate and Impek -- is hoping for a brisk pace: "The one thing that might suit him is if Mr Moonshine goes a great gallop and makes stamina come into play."
The Paul Nicholls-trained The Nightingale drops backs from three miles having failed to last home in the JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal.
The Nightingale finished just over nine lengths adrift in third, but the margin barely does justice to his excellent display of jumping on what was his first run in nearly 10 months.
Meanwhile, Nicholls' teenage nephew Harry Derham will keep the ride on Brampour at Cheltenham this weekend, while he also confirmed that Denman is on course for the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown.
"We are not going to leave any stone unturned. He's already had one racecourse gallop, will probably have another and we're very happy."
Former champion conditional William Kennedy has been jocked off leading chaser Time For Rupert, which will have Denis O'Regan in the saddle at Newbury next week. The Kildare-born rider rode Paul Webber's stable star to win seven times from 16 races. (© Daily Telegraph, London)