Racing: No Trouble for Kempton hope

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The Independent Online
LOOKS LIKE TROUBLE advertised his claims for the King George VI Chase at Kempton on 27 December by winning at odds of 2-7 with a sparkling display of jumping in a three-runner event for second-season chasers at Sandown yesterday.

Having been content to sit in behind the early leader, Bouchasson, in the extended three-mile event, Norman Williamson took his mount to the front at the first fence down the back straight and after that Looks Like Trouble simply pinged the remaining obstacles.

"He jumped great," the winning trainer, Noel Chance, said. "The conditions of the race suited him fine, he went a nice gallop and it was a good schooling."

Bookmakers' reaction to his success over Bouchasson, with the only other runner, Mister RM, a further distance back, was mixed. The Tote shortened Looks Like Trouble to joint favouritism with See More Business for the King George, on 7-4 (from 2-1), while William Hill and Victor Chandler left his odds unchanged at 2-1 and 15-8 respectively.

At Exeter the jockey Mickey Brennan was given a nine-day ban after taking the wrong course and causing a pile-up in the conditional jockeys' novices' handicap hurdle.

Brennan, partnering Caher Society, was leading when attempting to take the summer hurdles course, which is dolled off in winter, at the end of the back straight. In the ensuing mayhem, Welsh Lad and Russian Relation were knocked out of the contest.

Brennan will be sidelined on 13-18 and 20-22 December inclusive, but he claimed: "I was blinded by the sun down there on the bend as you could not see anything. It was all too late when I saw what had actually happened, and I was still travelling well enough at the time which makes it all the worse."

William Nunneley, the stewards' secretary, explained: "The stewards took the view that he [Brennan] had already ridden in a hurdle race earlier in the afternoon and he should have known the way round. He's caused all the problems by taking the wrong course and he actually admitted to the stewards the error as he had already ridden in a hurdle race."

The race went in clear-cut fashion to the favourite, Select Star, ridden by Joffret Huet, who missed all the problems before passing the post with 21 lengths to spare from Abigails Star to provide Martin Pipe, successful earlier with Spring Saint, with a double.