Henderson duo set for Kempton

NICKY HENDERSON could run both Calling Brave and Fondmort in the Stan James King George VI Chase at Kempton on St Stephen’s Day.

With his rising star Isio behind schedule so far this season, the Seven Barrows trainer looks set to call on two others from his talent-packed yard for the Christmas feature.

Calling Brave won all three of his completed starts over fences last season before unseating Mick Fitzgerald in the Royal & SunAlliance Chase at Cheltenham and he could well return to action at Windsor this weekend.

Henderson has ruled out a crack at Huntingdon’s Peterborough Chase with the eight-year-old. who could go for the Life From Coloroll Chase.

Henderson said: “While I would be perfectly happy to wait, Calling Brave could go to Windsor, but he definitely won’t be going to Huntingdon, where I feel the ground could be plenty quick enough for him.

“There is the intermediate chase at Sandown if we decide to give it a miss this weekend, but the race I really want him to go for is the King George.”

Henderson admitted to being disappointed with Fondmort’s run in last Saturday’s Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham.

The eight-year-old was last of the 11 finishers in the race, but Henderson is hoping he can bounce back in the King George - in which he finished fourth last year.

He added: “Most of my runners please me, but he was disappointing and I don’t know why.

“I see no reason why we shouldn’t run him at Kempton. He didn’t get the trip in the Racing Post Chase, but I feel that was an afterthought and I’ve always taken the view that he should stay round an easy track like that.”

Meanwhile, Colonel Frank dropped a long-range hint for the 2005 Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup when putting up an immaculate jumping display in the Hamilton Litestat Handicap Chase at Wincanton yesterday.

The clinching leg of a double for his rider JP McNamara, Colonel Frank was always in command and for the final mile of the near-three-and-a-quarter-mile journey his supporters were counting their money as it was almost a case of ‘how far’ for the 5-4 favourite.

Runner Bean (7-1) sparked the McNamara double in the Ely Fund Managers Handicap Chase.

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