All smiles: Lucinda Russell with her Grand National hero One For Arthur, who runs in the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock on Saturday
John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
One For Arthur exited the Betway Many Clouds Chase at the third fence on his return from a long layoff and the former Grand National hero bids to take a step in the right direction in the Peter Marsh Chase (3.15) at Haydock.
The Lucinda Russell-trained ten-year-old is reunited with regular rider Derek Fox for the £75,000 contest and rated 6lb above his National-winning mark of 148.
The Two Golf Widows-owned chaser won a novice hurdle at the track on his previous visit and a clear round will offer encouragement with another National bid in mind, for which he is a best price 33-1 with bet365 to win again on April 6.
Every winter weekend seems to be a big one for Seven Barrows maestro Nicky Henderson and that familiar trend continues.
The undeniably sensational Altior takes his next step towards attempting to retain his Champion Chase crown when facing two rivals – Diego Du Charmil and Fox Norton – in the Matchbook Clarence House Chase at Ascot (3.35).
At Haydock, Henderson saddles a more intriguing festival hope.
Mister Fisher (2.05), a general 14-1 shot for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, tries to cement his credentials in a trial for the festival opener.
There will not be many busier jockeys on Saturday than Luke Morris, who is third in the all-weather championship standings behind Adam Kirby and Robert Havlin.
Recent winner Narjes (12.50) and the promising India (2.00) are among Morris’s three rides at Lingfield before he sets off on a 170-mile trip to Wolverhampton for five mounts in the evening.
Morris’s tireless endeavour could be rewarded by Designated (5.15), Deira Surprise (7.15) and Apex Predator (7.45), who appear to have the most solid claims of his Dunstall Park quintet.
Taunton stages the inaugural running of the Weatherbys Portman Cup Chase (2.50) and the Somerset course has been rewarded with a classy seven-runner field.
Dual Grade 1 winner Tea For Two, two-time Scottish National hero Vicente and Grand National runner-up The Last Samuri are among those contesting the £50,000 race.
Former Kauto Star Novices’ Chase winner Royal Vacation, dual Badger Ales Trophy scorer Present Man, Grade 3 chase victor Thomas Patrick and veteran Regal Flow complete the line-up.
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