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Mr. Malarky on track to defend Kempton’s title |  Race news

Last year’s winner and runner-up Mister Malarky and Black Corton are set to fight again in the Close Brothers Handicap Chase in Kempton.

Colin Tizzard’s Mister Malarky landed another big pot at Ascot in December, but was far seventh most recently in the Sky Bet Chase in Doncaster.

Paul Nicholls’ Black Corton, due to overtaking the weights like he did 12 months ago, will have to rebound on Saturday after a rare disappointing run last time when he was stopped at Cheltenham in December.

Aso, second at Warwick recently, Cape Du Nord, third at Sky Bet, and Kempton specialist Double Shuffle are also among the possible 19.

There should be hints of Cheltenham elsewhere on the map, with Alan King’s Tritonic listed in both the Sky Bet Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle and the Close Brothers Adonis Juvenile Hurdle.

An artist in class on the plane, he made a winning debut over hurdles at Ascot.

Also in the Pigeonnier are Atholl Street by Nicholls, Calico by Dan Skelton and Cape Gentleman, Irish winner of Cesarewitch by Emmett Mullins.

There are 16 possibilities in the Adonis – with Heross Du Seuil by Nicky Henderson, winner of Kempton at Christmas, and Honneur D’Ajonc by Jane Williams, a latecomer while leading in the same race, having to face off against new.

French challenger Margaret’s Legacy adds intrigue – while Skelton could direct John Locke, useful on the dish for Ralph Beckett.

Hitman, Ga Law, Messire Des Obeaux, and Coole Cody are among the seven members of the Close Brothers Pendil Novice Pursuit.

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