ITV Racing Preview From Wetherby, Down Royal And Ascot

13:20 WETHERBY racingtv.com Handicap Chase Cl3 (4yo+ 0-125) 2m3½f ITV4.

In the first race of the day we fancy the Dan Skelton trained West To the Bridge in the Handicap Chase over 2 miles 3 furlongs.

This gelding made his chase debut at Carlisle half way through October and took to the bigger obstacles nicely with a respectable fourth that he will be sure to build on in this.

He was a useful hurdles horse before turning to fences but has always been said to be better chaser than a hurdler and could have an interesting season.

13:35 ASCOT Ascot Underwriting Chase (A Novices' Limited Handicap) Cl3 (4yo+ 0-140) 2m3f ITV4.

The Class Three Novices Handicap Chase sees some smart ex hurdlers take to the field and the Oliver Sherwood trained five year old Cervaro Mix looks a smart gelding.

At a nice each way price this new chaser made a nice start to life over the bigger obstacles when winning at Fontwell in May before backing that up with a decent third at the same track.

They were both on good ground but having previous on good to soft makes him a player in this one and has to be watched.

13:55 WETHERBY bet365 Mares' Hurdle (Listed Race) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m ITV4.

The Listed Mares Hurdles over two miles sees some smart horses go to post and we are siding with a horse we have been fond of for a long time with Lady Buttons.

The Philip Kirby trained nine year old has been a model professional throughout her career running in better races than this throughout her career to a high standard.

She took this race last year in good style on her seasonal debut and she has everything in her favour to go and win it again with freshness being a big thing for her.

14:10 ASCOT Byrne Group Handicap Chase (Listed Race) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m1f ITV4.

The Listed Handicap Hurdle midway through the card looks a highly competitive affair and The Eva Williams trained The Last Day is highly thought of from his yard.

The seven year old was a useful novice hurdler last season with two good seconds and then getting off the mark on his final outing of the season at Carlisle.

The more rain the better for this horse but will still handle most conditions and this trainer is in a fine bit of form and he should go well.

14:25 DOWN ROYAL Ladbrokes Champion Chase (Grade 1) (5yo+) 3m ITV4.

The feature race of the day at Down Royal and only race on ITV from the Grade One Irish track is the Ladbrokes Champion Chase and we fancy the English raider Clan Des Obeaux for Paul Nicholls.

Last season the seven year old came on the scene when landing the King Gorge VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day and it was a huge break through win for the gelding.

He backed that up at Ascot in the Denman Chase in what looked a perfect prep race for the Gold Cup but when he headed to Cheltenham where he could only manage fifth.

He looked in contention all the way round the track but when it came to getting up the hill he couldn't and he faded near the finish.

He rounded off his season at Aintree with a good second to Kemboy but he was outclassed but his jockey Harry Cobden has said he is bigger and stronger than he was last season which reads well and he has a huge chance to get his campaign up and running here.

14:45 ASCOT Sodexo Handicap Hurdle (Listed Race) Cl1 (4yo+) 1m7½f ITV4.

One of the feature contests of the day is the Listed Sodexo Handicap Hurdle and Nicky Henderson is starting to unleash some of his horses and Adjali looks a bright prospect this season.

He had a fairly decent campaign last season making a winning start at Market Rasen and then running in defeat behind some really smart Grade one hurdlers.

Listed events look to be his level and showing last season that he goes well fresh give him every chance in this contest with good to soft conditions being right up his street.

15:05 WETHERBY bet365 Hurdle (Grade 2) (Registered As The West Yorkshire Hurdle) Cl1 (4yo+) 3m ITV4.

The Grade Two West Yorkshire Hurdle over three miles sees some very familiar faces from the last few seasons go to post for their seasonal debuts.

Nigel Twiston-Davies has Ballyandy who will go off favourite for the trainer and holds leading claims for how he raced last season and ran to a fair level on his seasonal debut at Chepstow in October.

He should be much fitter and stronger for that run with the step up to three miles looking to suit his running and jumping style much better than the shorter trips he has been at.

15:20 ASCOT Sodexo Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3) Cl1 (4yo+) 3m ITV4.

The penultimate race of the day sees the Grade Three Gold Cup Handicap Chase with many familiar runners and with such a big field we have two selections.

The first is the Gary Moore trained Larry who is a very versatile horse winning events on good and heavy ground last year and seems to be a highly improving chaser that is worth watching at this price.

One at a slightly bigger price and another nice each way angle is the Rebecca Curtis trained Relentless Dreamer Who won at Cheltenham around this time last year and on his seasonal debut was a strong third that makes him a player on Saturday.

15:40 WETHERBY bet365 Charlie Hall Chase (Grade 2) Cl1 (5yo+) 3m ITV4.

La Bague Au Roi goes for us in the feature contest on the Saturday at Wetherby in the Grade Two Charlie Hall Chase over three miles.

She was one of the leading novice chasers last season landing her first four starts over fences before finishing her career in a tough Grade One at Aintree finishing second.

She got off the mark in a beginners chase at Newbury and then just weeks later followed that up in superb style at the same track over course and distance in a Grade Two.

Boxing Day was calling and at odds 8/1 she went on to surprise many by landing the Grade One Kauto Star Novices Chase seeing off some superb competition in Topofthegame and Santini.

Strangely Warren Greatrex took her over to Ireland at Leopardstown and entered her in the Grade One Flogas Novices Chase which again she prevailed nicely and looked a serious chaser to be respected.

She finished her season off at Aintree in the Manifesto Novices Chase where she was outshined by Kalashnikov but still ran nicely and will be stronger this year.

She goes well early on in the season and that could play to her strength massively in this one.

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