GBI RACING

Promising Waiting Patiently facing Kempton test on return to action

Malcolm Jefferson

Connections of Waiting Patiently acknowledge he will have to raise his game to keep his unbeaten record over fences intact in the 32Red Casino Chase at Kempton on Saturday.

Malcolm Jefferson's six-year-old is well-named having been kept off the track since making an impressive start to his campaign at Carlisle in early November.

The Tingle Creek at Sandown, the John Durkan at Punchestown and the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham were all under consideration in December, but a minor setback meant Jefferson had to bide his time before sending his exciting charge into battle once more.

He makes his eagerly-awaited return in Listed company this weekend but faces no easy task with both God's Own and Smad Place significantly better off at the weights.

Ruth Jefferson, assistant to her father, said: " He's fit and well and ready to go.

"He's got to step up and keep improving, so we'll see if he has.

"He had a little setback, but he's bouncing and happy again now and we're looking forward to running him."

The Tom George-trained God's Own is well treated by the conditions of the race, receiving weight from his major rivals having not won since claiming the scalp of the ill-fated Vautour in the Boylesports Champion Chase at the 2016 Punchestown Festival.

On his only previous outing this season, he finished a well-beaten sixth behind Smad Place in October's Old Roan Chase at Aintree, but George is looking forward to his return.

He said: "He's in good form and this is his run to set him up for the spring.

"We had planned to go for the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon (in December) but that was abandoned and when they rescheduled it for Taunton the ground was too soft, so we said we'd sit tight.

"It's all about the spring with him and this isn't his Gold Cup, so to speak, but the conditions of the race suit him and we thought we'd better let him take his chance.

"When he ran in the Champion Chase last year it was his first run in a while and he was just too fresh, which is why we wanted to get a run in this time.

"I would imagine he'll go straight to Cheltenham after this."

Alan King's admirable grey Smad Place rolled back the years to win on Merseyside in the autumn, but was a well-beaten fifth on his next and most recent start at Ascot in November.

Nicky Henderson's Josses Hill, the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Ballybolley and Art Mauresque from Paul Nicholls' yard complete a six-strong field.

Headlines