Five Horses To Follow This Weekend - 12/02/2019

1. Clan Des Obeaux

With Native River out, Clan Des Obeaux looks to have a golden opportunity on his hands to promote his claims for next month's Magners Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival in the rearranged Denman Chase at Ascot this weekend.

Winner of the King George at Kempton, he appears to be the leading chance out of two for Paul Nicholls [Frodon]- who reported on Sky Sports Racing on Tuesday afternoon that both horses are in fine order - and more significantly do not require flu jabs resulting in them being able to race.

The King George form is always going to be strong, with Nicholls suggesting that the 7yo has come on leaps and bounds since racing at Haydock in the Betfair - which was very much a learning curve.

Poses good speed and has plenty of years ahead of him.

2. Waiting Patiently

Ruth Jefferson opted to skip the Dublin Racing Festival with Waiting Patiently, who will now also head to Berkshire to bid for back-to-back Ascot Chases.

His victory in this last season over old fan-favourite Cue Card extended his unbeaten run over fences to seven, before coming to grief in the King George nearly two months ago - when being brought down as a result of Bristol De Mai's early departure.

Officially unbeaten chasing when standing up to his fences, he looks a leading contender at next month's Festival; with his trainer Jefferson already confirming his future date to be in the Ryanair and NOT the Gold Cup.

A class act, and one of the young rising stars in the division.

3. Yanworth

Remember Yanworth?

Off the track for almost a year, Alan King's 9yo is back to prepare for what looks to be a second crack at the Stayers Hurdle, with a prep run in the Grade Two Rendlesham Hurdle at Haydock on Saturday.

Despite four attempts over the larger obstacles, the dual Grade One winner reverted back to hurdles for last year's Festival - a venue where he seems to produce his best.

Fourth in the 2015 Champion Bumper, runner-up to Yorkhill in the following season's Ballymore (then Neptune Investment), he was sent off the 2-1 favourite for the Champion Hurdle in 2017 but was disqualified due to a banned substance.

Returned in style however to win the Stayers Hurdle at Aintree on Grand National weekend, so stamina really looks his finest asset nowadays.

Big player this weekend on return.

4. Getaway Trump

Options for both the Kingwell Hurdle, but perhaps more likely for the rearranged Betfair Hurdle at Ascot, Getaway Trump could continue his fine recent progression for former Champion Trainer Paul Nicholls.

Just four attempts over hurdles, his most recent outing saw him only two lengths down on the Ballymore favourite Champ from Nicky Henderson's yard.

Not only that, he beat some useful novices - most notably Olly Murphy's Brewin'upastorm, who fell at the last in a Grade Two at Cheltenham a couple of weeks ago, when looking to be in with every chance of winning.

A fine developer - who has also won at Exeter and Plumpton, can booster his mark ahead of potentially the Supreme Novices at Prestbury Park in four weeks time.

5. Glen Rocco

Glen Rocco climbs into Listed company for the first time in the Keltbray Swinley Chase at a busy Ascot this weekend.

Part of one of this season's leading pieces of form, Nick Gifford's chestnut finished second to Mick Channon's Glen Forsa on the final race on Boxing Day, with Rocco (second) joining Dell Oro (fourth) and Lough Derg Spirit (fifth) as subsequent winners.

The 8yo gelding stormed clear when rising to a Class Two back at the Sunbury venue halfway through January, when eased towards the finish in a twenty-three length romp.

Has the ability to progress further, and cannot be discounted from another bold display this weekend.