Fred Winter also-rans line up for another crack at a valuable pot
Mitie Events & Leisure Juvenile Handicap Hurdle | 1m7½f | 4yo | RUK
When shall we three meet again? When Ascot puts up £40,000 for another juvenile handicap hurdle, that's when.
Percy Street finished sixth for Nicky Henderson in the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham and reopposes 11th-placed stablemate Domperignon Du Lys on the same terms here. Dolos (13th at the festival) is 2lb better off with both of them.
So Celebre won a maiden hurdle at Huntingdon on the day of the Fred Winter and is 8lb better off for the ten lengths he was beaten into third place behind Domperignon Du Lys at Newcastle last November.
Launchpad for a star
Lil Rockerfeller gained his first hurdles victory in this race off a mark of 125 two years ago and has not stopped improving since – he finished second in the Sun Bets Stayers' Hurdle at Cheltenham and is now rated 168.
Be a shade wary of East Indies as all trainer Gary Moore's last 37 runners in handicap hurdles at Ascot have been beaten, a drought stretching back to 2010.
What they say
Nicky Henderson, trainer of Domperignon Du Lys & Percy Street
These are the first of the Cheltenham horses to run again and it will be interesting to see how they get on because there will be a lot more by the end of next week. Percy Street ran an excellent race in the Fred Winter to finish sixth, and Daryl [Jacob] said he got in a bit of trouble coming down the hill on Domperignon Du Lys, who was just a few places behind him. They both seem to have come out of the race well and seem in very good form.
Paul Nicholls, trainer of Dolos
Dolos has been running well, but he's probably found his level with his handicap mark and that's why we're claiming off him. He loves good ground and hopefully has a chance.
Ian Williams, trainer of So Celebre
He stepped up on previous performances with a nice win at Huntingdon last time and appreciated the better ground. This is a very competitive race in which he should go well.
Evan Williams, trainer of Silver Streak
He's been very progressive and we've been very pleased with him. This is obviously a massive step up in class but it's a big prize and he seems to act well round this type of course.
Lucy Wadham, trainer of Gregarious
He's in good form but obviously the ground is drier than he's been racing on and that's a little bit of a concern as he hits the ground quite hard.