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What's on this week

What's on this week: the return of Grade 1 stars at Haydock before Galopin Des Champs takes centre stage at Punchestown

PROTEKTORAT ridden by Harry Skelton wins the BETFAIR CHASE (GRADE 1) at HAYDOCK PARK 19/11/22Photograph by Grossick Racing Photography 0771 046 1723
Protektorat: seeks a second consecutive success in the Betfair Chase on SaturdayCredit: John Grossick (


A week that peaks with the Betfair Chase and return of Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Galopin Des Champs starts on a quiet note at Exeter, with a two-runner novice chase opening its jumps card.

The race could, however, allow the talented Might I to claim a maiden win over fences as he wears cheekpieces for the first time. The seven-year-old carries level weights but is rated 18lb more than his rival Bourbali.

His trainer Harry Fry could claim more success in the Listed Exeter Mares' Novices' Chase (3.00) with market-leader Lady Adare. Also of note is Palacio, a half-brother to Grade 1 winner Whisper, who makes his rules debut (4.00) for Sam Thomas.

General Medrano seeks to continue his unbeaten record over fences in the feature chase at Plumpton (1.40), where the stable favourite of Emma Lavelle will bid to follow up on wins at Huntingdon and Uttoxeter last month. Also seeking a hat-trick is Aviewofthestars, who makes her first start for Stella Barclay in a mares' novice handicap hurdle (2.05) at Leicester.

The sole evening meeting is on the all-weather at Kempton with a nine-race card which includes a valuable 7f maiden (6.00).


Michael Bell, whose Royal Ascot winner Burdett Road is now favourite for the Triumph Hurdle after switching yards to James Owen, sends out another talented Flat runner over hurdles himself in Adjuvant, who lines up in the 2m maiden hurdle (12.20) at Hereford under Harry Cobden.

Irish racing returns at Limerick with an intriguing mares' bumper (3.55) that has been won in previous years by dual Listed scorer Shecouldbeanything and Punchestown festival winner Scarlet And Dove.

More racing comes from Fakenham and Lingfield, while Chelmsford's evening card opens with the Future Stayers' Novice Stakes (5.00), which is worth £25,000.

Entries for the December Gold Cup at Cheltenham next month will also be revealed, alongside the weight publications for Aintree's Becher Chase on December 9 and the Welsh Grand National on December 27 at Chepstow.


The Veterans' Chase Series is always popular and Warwick sees the return of some familiar names for its 3m contest (3.15). Thomas Darby, Aye Right and De Rasher Counter are among the entries, which is preceded by a competitive novice chase (2.40).

The meeting concludes with a 2m bumper (3.50) which could feature the rules debut of Red Panda, who is the first foal of popular Becher Chase winner and recently retired Snow Leopardess.

Aye Right: could line up in the veterans' chase at
Aye Right: could line up in the veterans' chase at WarwickCredit: John Grossick (

Another bumper runner to note could be Walk On Quest at Hexham (3.40), with the four-year-old was spoken highly of by trainer Lucinda Russell in her recent Racing Post stable tour.

Ffos Las and Dundalk hold meetings while there is evening action at Wolverhampton, with a £25,200 handicap (7.00) attracting entries including experienced handicappers Chipstead and Clarendon House.

Away from the track, animal rights protesters will make the first of two court appearances after being arrested on Grand National day. They were released on bail on November 15 following charges of wilfully obstructing the public highway in two incidents near Aintree on April 15.


The pick of the action on Thursday comes from Thurles, with a beginners chase (12.10) featuring a host of high-profile entries. Grade 2 winner Favori De Champdou, top-class staying hurdler Klassical Dream and promising novice Senior Chief could line up in a fascinating clash to open their seven-race card.

Market Rasen's Pertemps qualifier (1.40) has been won for the last two years by Teescomponents Lad but a host of new runners bid to claim the race this time round. Among them could be Le Milos, who landed the Coral Gold Cup last season and finished tenth in the Grand National.

Wincanton holds a jumps meeting alongside Newcastle, where trainer Ben Haslam is unbeaten this season and could field Celestial Horizon in the 2m1f handicap hurdle (2.25).

Evening racing takes place at Wolverhampton but many industry figures will be occupied at Aintree, where the annual Racecourse Association Showcase Awards will be hosted to celebrate the best British tracks of the year.


Ascot opens its doors for the first day of its two-day meeting with a card that includes plenty of competitive handicap contests alongside an informative introductory hurdle (1.25), where Doddiethegreat, Inthewaterside and Primoz are among the notable entries.

A 2m3f handicap chase (1.50) is the pick of the action at Catterick, where the 131-rated Geronimo could bid for his first win of the year after finishing runner-up on his last three starts.

More jump racing takes place at Chepstow and Fairyhouse and all-weather action from Southwell and Dundalk complete the day's action.


It is Betfair Chase day at Haydock (3.00) and some of Britain's leading staying chasers aim to strike an early blow this season in a race that features an illustrious role call including Gold Cup winners Imperial Commander, Kauto Star and A Plus Tard.

This year is set to be another exhilarating clash, with last year's winner Protektorat heading the market from six-time Grade 1 winner Shishkin. The race remains an option for Bravemansgame following his defeat at Wetherby and Grand National hero Corach Rambler could run at the top-level for the first time.

Shishkin: winner of the Aintree Bowl
Shishkin: will take on Protektorat at HaydockCredit: Alan Crowhurst (Getty Images)

The undercard boasts a Grade 2 novice hurdle (12.05) and a valuable staying handicap hurdle (2.20). Entries include Slate Lane and last year's winner Botox Has.

More Grade 1 action will be at Punchestown with the Unibet Morgiana Hurdle (2.35). Last year's winner State Man is entered alongside Ballymore hero Impaire Et Passe, who remains unbeaten after following up his Cheltenham success with victory at Punchestown in April.

Ascot hosts the Grade 2 Coral Hurdle, which was won last year by Goshen. The valuable card, which also includes the 1965 Chase (1.30) and the Jim Barry Hurst Park Handicap Chase (3.15), was weakened by a spate of notable non-runners last year due to quick ground, with Constitution Hill, L'Homme Presse and Hitman among those failing to take part. However, conditions are already in Ascot's favour this time round with the course currently good to soft, soft in places.

More jump racing comes from Huntingdon while there is action on the all-weather at Wolverhampton and Lingfield, including a £25,200 7f handicap (1.10).


Galopin Des Champs makes his much-anticipated return in the John Durkan Memorial Chase (2.30) at Punchestown, where he will begin his campaign to defend his crown as the leading chaser in Britain and Ireland.

Last year's Gold Cup winner looked imperious all season but suffered a shock defeat on his final start when losing to 20-1 shot Fastorslow in the Ladbrokes Punchestown Gold Cup. The winner that day features among 15 entries for this 2m3f chase, with top-class scorers Fakir D'Oudairies, Appreciate It and Envoi Allen among the other possible runners.

Equinox: supreme again in Japan on Sunday
Equinox: world's best racehorse runs in Sunday's Japan Cup

More jump racing comes from Uttoxeter and Exeter but Flat fans are also served with some top-class international action as the prestigious Japan Cup is held at Tokyo racecourse.

St Leger winner Continuous was ruled out of the race due to stiffness, but all eyes will be on Equinox as the world's best racehorse seeks a sixth straight Group 1 success.

Read more:

More Cheltenham success for JP McManus as Iberico Lord powers home to win Greatwood Hurdle 

Dominant Jonbon in a different league to Shloer Chase rivals as he thrashes Edwardstone 

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Published on 20 November 2023inWhat's on this week

Last updated 08:45, 20 November 2023