Simonsig: reported to have schooled well on Saturday morningPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Simonsig set for Friday chase debut at Ascot
SIMONSIG looks set to make his eagerly anticipated debut over fences in Friday's Grade 2 Betfred Novices' Chase at Ascot.
After impressing in a recent schooling session, trainer Nicky Henderson is ready to unleash the Neptune Investment Novices' Hurdle winner over the larger obstacles in the 2m3f contest.
"Unless something goes dramatically wrong he runs at Ascot on Friday," confirmed Henderson. "Barry [Geraghty] schooled him on Saturday morning and was very happy with him."
The entry sets up a potentially mouthwatering clash with Champion Hurdle runner-up Overturn, who looked a natural over fences when scoring at Sandown on his chase debut last month.
Both horses have also been given entries in Saturday's Blue Square Bet Novices' Chase at Haydock, although Henderson practically ruled out that option for Simonsig on Monday.
He added: "Haydock's only a complete emergency fallout in case Ascot is off."
Simonsig currently heads the Racing Post Arkle market at a general 3-1, with Overturn a best-price 7-1 for the same Cheltenham Festival contest.