Hill to climb for Camping Ground

Camping Ground and Josses Hill engage in an intriguing clash in the Weatherbys General Stud Book Graduation Chase at Kempton.

The two-and-a-half-mile contest was won by subsequent Hennessy Gold Cup hero Smad Place 12 months ago, while Riverside Theatre and Somersby are other notable names on the roll of honour.

Just three runners go to post for this year's renewal and with Princeton Royale seriously up against it judged on official ratings, it looks a straight match.

The Robert Walford-trained Camping Ground made a flying start to his career in Britain in a handicap chase at Warwick in February of last year, but has been campaigned over hurdles ever since.

He was hugely impressive when winning the Relkeel Hurdle at Cheltenham on New Year's Day, but was well-beaten in the Cleeve Hurdle, the Champion Hurdle and the Aintree Hurdle and Walford is looking forward to see his charge revert to fences on Monday.

He said: "He's in good form and seems very well.

"We know two and a half miles suits him, we've got a good jockey (Aidan Coleman), so we'll see what happens.

"He's schooled very well and we'll make a plan after we see how he performs."

Nicky Henderson's Josses Hill slammed dual Grade One winner God's Own over this course and distance in February.

He failed to make an impact behind the brilliant Vautour in the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham, but connections are hopeful he can make a winning return.

Mike Spence, son of owner Alan Spence, said: "He's in very good form and has been ready to run for a while. We've just been waiting on a bit of rain.

"He obviously had jumping problems when he first went over fences, but we sorted those out and he was really impressive at Kempton earlier in the year.

"We went to Cheltenham thinking he'd run really well and he jumped well, but he was lame for quite a long time afterwards.

"We were thinking of going back over hurdles this season, but decided to give him another run over fences and we'll see how we get on.

"It should be a good race between him and Camping Ground, who hasn't run over fences for quite a while.

"From a personal point of view I think a small field over two and a half miles will suit Josses Hill well and if he runs up to the form of his last run at Kempton, I think he'll be incredibly hard to beat."

Read More at Sporting Life

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