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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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McManus swoops for Wyck HillHeadlines
Wyck Hill

Wyck Hill, ante-post favourite for the Racing Plus Chase, will race in the green and gold colours of owner JP McManus for the first time at Kempton on Saturday.

The Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National entry will stay in training with David Bridgwater at his Gloucestershire base and is likely to be ridden by McManus' retained jockey Tony McCoy in this weekend's £100,000 race.

Bridgwater owned a substantial share of the nine-year-old and had fielded several big offers since Wyck Hill beat the progressive Katenko at Ascot in December.

"The deal is complete now, it's all done and dusted. I presume Tony McCoy will be riding him at the weekend, they have their own jockey and it's their choice. But he stays with me and it's very exciting. I just hope he's as successful for them as he has been so far for us," said Bridgwater.

Nigel Twiston-Davies believes Same Difference must have a good chance of victory if the handicapper is right in his current assessment.

As Kempton's feature is an early closing event, the weights were allotted before Same Difference ran a sound race when third to RSA Chase fancies Unioniste and Hadrian's Approach at Newbury.

If the assessor looked at the race again, Same Difference would have to carry 6lb more and Twiston-Davies, who won the race in 2010 with Razor Royale, feels he is the right type for the race.

The trainer said: "If the handicapper is right, I think he's got to have a very good chance. He's the right type for the race, he jumps, gallops and stays. We are closely matched with Rolling Aces on a line through Hadrian's Approach and we get nearly a stone off him."

Philip Hobbs has a good record in the race having won it four times - more than any trainer - thanks to Dr Leunt (1999), Gunther McBride (2002), Farmer Jack (2005) and Quinz (2011), and the latter is coming back for another go, along with Duke Of Lucca, who has been supported in recent days.

"Neither would go if the ground was too soft which it doesn't look like it's going to be. At the moment the plan is to run both," said Hobbs.

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