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Regal Encore and Sub Lieutenant among veterans aiming for one last hurrah

Regal Encore: the 13-year-old has won four times at Ascot
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2.25 Ascot
'My Oddsboost' On Betfair Swinley Chase (Listed Race) | 3m | 5yo+ | ITV/SSR

This race has become a bit of a paradise for veterans since its reintroduction to the calendar in 2011. Six of the ten winners were aged ten or older and many were having their last hurrah.

Of those last ten winners, six of them never won, or have yet to win, another race (ignoring points and hunter chases) and that includes 2017 scorer Tenor Nivernais, who sauntered round on the bridle to score imperiously by 30 lengths in what proved a fluke of a performance.

Tenor Nivernais was the first of two winners of the race for trainer Venetia Williams, who also saddled Calipto to score in 2019.

The Kings Caple trainer runs two this year and the ten-year-old Yalltari looks the most likely candidate for a last hurrah. He has dropped to a mark 2lb lower than when last successful at Chepstow in December 2018 and some of his better form has been achieved at this track.

Yalltari was third behind Mister Malarkey in the Grade 2 Reynoldstown on this card two years ago and bounced back to form when fourth in a course-and-distance handicap last time.

That could prove the key line of form because Cobolobo finished two places ahead in second and the pair are closely matched again with Yalltari now granted a 2lb pull in the weights.

 

Jerrysback has a different profile to the veterans having run just ten times at the age of nine, but he looks likely to head the market and it’s easy to see why.

He has shown a tendency to improve significantly for a run throughout his career, so it is encouraging he went so well when third behind Dashel Drasher on his return from a 399-day absence last month.
Analysis by Graeme Rodway


Lieutenant on parade for National

Sub Lieutenant ran a great first race for the tiny Worcestershire outfit of Georgie Howell when fourth against a few of today’s field at Ascot prior to Christmas and the dream is still alive that he may turn up in the Grand National in April.

 

Howell bought the classy ex-Irish performer for her daughter and this weekend’s jockey Tabitha Worsley to ride, and is rather put out that the 12-year-old has once again been overlooked in the betting.

She said: “Sub Lieutenant is streets ahead of anything else I have in the yard but we may ride him more aggressively this time as we were on a bit of a fact finding mission first time. If he’s fit and well after this we’ll run him in the National and Tabitha will ride which will be a great thrill.”


What they say

Anthony Honeyball, trainer of Regal Encore
They took the last fence out last time at the track which wasn’t ideal for him as he likes jumping. That race came only three weeks after his previous run at Newbury so it may have been a bit quick for him but he’s had a nice break and seems in top order.

Philip Hobbs, trainer of Jerrysback and Musical Slave
Jerrysback has run very well at Ascot before. He goes there with a decent chance. Musical Slave didn’t jump as well as he can at Doncaster last time for no obvious reason. If he’s back on-song he’d have a good chance too.

Cobolobo: "He’s still inexperienced compared to a few in the race but deserves his place in the line up"

Jonjo O’Neill, trainer of Cobolobo
He’s still inexperienced compared to a few in the race but deserves his place in the line up. He would have a small each-way chance.

Dan Skelton, trainer of Captain Chaos
The ground will suit. I was very happy with his Warwick run. He showed more that day and the handicapper has given him a chance. Hopefully he can win one of these races very soon.

Reporting by David Milnes


Read more of Saturday's previews

Saint or sinner: which Cyrname will turn up at Ascot this time? (Members’ Club)

Grand National clues everywhere, although not where you might look first (Members’ Club)

1.50 Ascot: Stamina and jumping look the key to success in Reynoldstown

2.05 Haydock: Itchy Feet 'the one to beat' as Murphy's star steps up in trip in Rendlesham

2.40 Haydock: National Trial sure to be tough going as course specialists do battle in the mud

3.18 Wincanton: Can Song For Someone lay claim to being the best hurdler in Britain?

3.35 Ascot: Master Tommytucker expected to make things difficult for unpredictable Cyrname

Ascot Chase: how to solve the great Cyrname conundrum (Members’ Club)


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Sub Lieutenant is streets ahead of anything else I have in the yard but we may ride him more aggressively
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