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Five fascinating races to follow this weekend

Defi Du Seuil: earned glowing praise from trainer Philip Hobbs
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It is another weekend of quality action on both sides of the Irish Sea. We know the final fields for all the weekend races, so here are five contests well worth watching on Saturday and Sunday...

Coral Hurdle 
2.40 Ascot, Saturday

After bypassing the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham last weekend, Defi Du Seuil is back in action on Saturday having been declared for the Grade 2 Coral Hurdle at Ascot.

Winner of the Triumph Hurdle, along with two other Grade 1s, Defi Du Seuil faces the tough and determined Lil Rockerfeller and the talented L’Ami Serge on his return to the course. It is no gimme.

Christy 1965 Chase
2.05 Ascot, Saturday

In the battle of the greys it was Smad Place who came out on top in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree last month, and he will bid to add the Grade 2 Christy 1965 Chase on Saturday.

At ten, Smad Place is the oldest in the nine-runner field which includes the talented pair of Frodon and Top Notch plus course specialist Royal Regatta.

Cyrus Darius: faces a quality field at Haydock

Cash Out In-Play With Betfair Graduation Chase
1.15 Haydock, Saturday

Saturday is set to be a big day for Cyrus Darius, with the talented chaser aiming to take his record to three wins over fences from as many starts in the 2m5½f graduation chase at Haydock.

Trained by Malcolm Jefferson, Cyrus Darius showed he retained plenty of ability when returning from a long absence earlier in the year, and another win here will get connections dreaming.

His talented opponents include Clan Des Obeaux, Born Survivor and Vintage Clouds.

Ladbrokes Bet 10 And Get 40 On The Grid Chase
2.20 Gowran, Saturday

The wait is nearly over to see Min back in action, after the Grade 1-winning novice featured among the three for Saturday’s 2m4f conditions chase at Gowran.

Off since winning the Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown on December 26, Min has the potential to mix it with the likes of stablemates Douvan and Un De Sceaux this season if he is back firing on all cylinders

Acapella Bourgeois: makes debut for Willie Mullins on Sunday

And one for Sunday...

Ladbrokes Troytown Chase
2.35 Navan, Sunday

Gordon Elliott throws six into battle for the Ladbrokes Troytown Chase at Navan on Sunday, but the sole entry from the Willie Mullins stable could be the one to beat.

Acapella Bourgeois, who makes his debut for Mullins, heads the weights and the betting for the 22-runner contest. Beroni, in 2009, was the last winner of this race for Mullins, while Elliott is going for a fourth on the spin.

Look back on the best jumps action of the year in the new edition of the Racing Post Annual. Order now at or call 01933 304858

E.W. Terms