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L'Homme Presse tops bill as five entries made for Saturday's Grade 1 Betfair Ascot Chase

L'Homme Presse (right) wins the Fleur de Lys Chase at Lingfield
L'Homme Presse (right) en route to winning last month's Fleur de Lys Chase at LingfieldCredit: Mark Cranham

Leading Cheltenham Gold Cup contender L'Homme Presse featured in the five entries made on Monday for the Grade 1 Betfair Ascot Chase on Saturday.

The Venetia Williams-trained nine-year-old, who made an impressive return to action following 13 months off when winning last month's Fleur de Lys Chase at Lingfield, is in line to face 2022 winner Fakir D'Oudairies and fellow Grade 1 winner Pic D'Orhy at Ascot.

Other potential rivals in the 2m5f contest include Ahoy Senor and Sail Away.

L'Homme Presse is vying for third favouritism at Cheltenham with Saturday's Denman Chase winner Shishkin and Gerri Colombe.

Twice a winner at the highest level, including in the 2022 Brown Advisory Novices' Chase, L'Homme Presse unseated his rider at the final fence in the King George later that year and had been off the track for 391 days before his successful comeback at Lingfield.

Williams, who won the Ascot Chase 25 years ago with Teeton Mill, on Sunday signalled her intention to go for the race with L'Homme Presse.

Pic D'Orhy, who was a 16-length second to Shishkin in the race last year, is set to return to Ascot after finishing runner-up to Banbridge in last month's Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton.

Pic D'Orhy: heading to Aintree
Pic D'Orhy was runner-up in last year's Ascot ChaseCredit: Edward Whitaker

He won the Grade 1 Marsh Chase at Aintree last season and made a successful start to the season in the 1965 Chase at Ascot.

Fakir D'Oudairies, who was third in the race last year, could return to Grade 1 level following two outings in handicaps this season.

L'Homme Presse was chalked up as Betfair's 4-7 favourite on the opening show on Monday, with Pic D'Orhy next best at 5-2.

Betfair spokesman Barry Orr said: "There's currently a small and select field with just the five, but there will be a supplementary stage on Wednesday. Although that's not ideal from an ante-post betting perspective it will, hopefully, attract a few more runners. L'Homme Presse is 4-7 but let’s see what Wednesday brings."

On the same Ascot card, the Grade 2 Sodexo Live! Novices' Chase has attracted seven entries, headed by Apple Away, Brave Kingdom and Kilbeg King.

The race registered as the Reynoldstown, which also features Henry's Friend, The King Of Ryhope, Bowtogreatness and The Changing Man, carries prize-money of £75,000, which is up from £52,000 last year. 

The ground at Ascot was described as good to soft, soft in places on Monday morning.

Betfair Ascot Chase entries

Ahoy Senor Lucinda Russell
Fakir D'Oudairies Joseph O'Brien
L'Homme Presse Venetia Williams
Pic D'Orhy Paul Nicholls
Sail Away Dan Skelton

Betfair: 4-7 L’Homme Presse, 5-2 Pic D’Orhy, 9-2 Ahoy Senor, 5-1 Fakir D’Oudairies, 25-1 Sail Away


Hemmings National pair set to go on trial

The famous colours of the late Trevor Hemmings are to the fore in Saturday's Virgin Bet Grand National Trial at Haydock, with leading contenders Iron Bridge and Famous Bridge going forward to the race.

The pair, who featured among 13 confirmations on Monday, are previous course winners who hold entries for the Randox Grand National at Aintree on April 13.

My Silver Lining, winner of last month's Classic Chase at Warwick, and 2021 Welsh National hero Iwilldoit are other notable contenders, while the Gavin Cromwell-trained Yeah Man could make the trip over from Ireland.

At Wincanton, Goshen is set to face a maximum of six rivals in his attempt to win the Grade 2 Jennings Bet Kingwell Hurdle for the third time.

His potential rivals include Rubaud, Colonel Mustard, Nemean Lion, Guard Your Dreams, Under Control and Sonigino.


Read this next:

What's on this week: Cheltenham fields become clearer, Grand National trials and L'Homme Presse tackles the Ascot Chase 


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Andrew DietzReporter

Published on 12 February 2024inBritain

Last updated 13:54, 12 February 2024

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