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Cue Card tops entries for Ascot Chase on 18th February 2017

entries for Ascot Chase: Entries have been revealed for the £150,000 Betfair Ascot Chase, the richest Grade One contest of the Jump season run at Ascot Racecourse, and staged on Saturday 18th February 2017, Betfair Ascot Chase Day.

Run over two miles and five furlongs, the Betfair Ascot Chase boasts an outstanding roll of honour since its establishment in 1995. Martha’s Son, One Man, Teeton Mill, Tiutchev, Our Vic, Monet’s Garden, Voy Por Ustedes and Kauto Star all feature among the winners.

Heading the 14 entries for this year’s renewal is Cue Card (Colin Tizzard). The remarkable 11-year-old landed the Betfair Ascot Chase by six lengths back in 2013, on his only start to date at Ascot, and the victory was the second of his eight Grade One wins and first over fences. He annexed the G1 Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival the following month.

Successful for the third time in the G1 Betfair Chase at Haydock Park in November, Cue Card was last seen out when runner-up to stable companion Thistlecrack on Boxing Day at Kempton Park in the G1 King George VI Chase, a race he won in 2015.

Paul Nicholls gained Betfair Ascot Chase success for the third time in 2016 with Silviniaco Conti and the 11-year-old, a seven-time Grade One winner, is one of two entries for the champion Jump trainer this year along with Vibrato Valtat.

Vibrato Valtat, a G1 winner as a novice chaser in the 2014/15 season, has also scored three times at G2 level, most recently in the G2 Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter in November 2015.

The eight-year-old grey was last seen out when runner-up, beaten two and a quarter lengths, behind Vaniteux (Nicky Henderson) in a Listed chase at Kempton Park on 14th January.

Dan Downie, racing manager for owner Axom, reported: “I will be sitting down this week with Paul Nicholls to decide where we go next with Vibrato Valtat.

“We need to make a plan with the horse and the Betfair Ascot Chase is on the agenda as one of his options.

“He ran really well last time out at Kempton and that was his first run back after his wind operation, so you would hope he would come on for it.

“In an ideal world, the Kempton race would have been 10 days’ later so it was a good performance. The trip at Ascot should be pretty ideal for him.”

Another trainer to have won the Betfair Ascot Chase three times is Nicky Henderson and there are two entries from the Lambourn handler – the aforementioned Vaniteux and dual G2 scorer Josses Hill, who appeared to lack stamina when last of five in the three-mile King George VI Chase last time out.

Other trainers with multiple entries include Gary Moore, who has put in Traffic Fluide, not seen out since finishing third just over a year ago in the 2016 G1 Clarence House Chase at Ascot and Camping Ground, who has yet to start for his current trainer but was a G2 scorer over hurdles for his previous handler Robert Walford.

Welsh-based Rebecca Curtis has put in the Betfair Ascot Chase this season’s G2 Charlie Hall Chase victor Irish Cavalier and Shantou Flyer, who was successful in a G3 handicap chase at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day.

A horse already on the scoresheet at Ascot this season is Royal Regatta (Philip Hobbs), who defeated Kylemore Lough (Kerry Lee) by a neck in the G2 Stella Artois 1965 Chase, also staged over two miles and five furlongs, on 19th November.

Other Betfair Ascot Chase entries include Bristol De Mai (Nigel Twiston-Davies), a hugely-impressive winner of the G2 Peter Marsh Handicap Chase at Haydock Park on 21st January and Taquin Du Seuil (Jonjo O’Neill), successful under 11st 11lb at Cheltenham in November in the ultra-competitive BetVictor Gold Cup.

Completing the possible line-up is Tenor Nivernais (Venetia Williams), successful over the course and distance in the Winkworth Handicap Chase in November 2015.

There is a £7,500 supplementary entry stage for the Betfair Ascot Chase at the five-day confirmation stage on Monday 13th February.


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