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Friday 15 December 2017

Double Ross primed to fend off challenge of Silviniaco Conti

DOUBLE ROSS has enough class to topple hot favourite Silviniaco Conti in the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby.

Silviniaco Conti, the reigning King George champion, won this race in 2012 and is the one to beat for the Paul Nicholls team.

But with many of the Nicholls string needing a run this autumn, it could be more beneficial to look elsewhere at the prices. Double Ross could therefore be the solution. The eight-year-old gelding brought form which was not far from top class to the table last season, with a Grade Three victory in the December Gold Cup at Cheltenham the highlight.

He also got to within two lengths of Taquin Du Seuil in the JLT Novices' Chase at the Festival, where he was slightly outpaced at the business end.

That run alone suggested this step up to three miles and a furlong in West Yorkshire could be just the ticket.

Double Ross made a rather bruising return to the fray in the much-vaunted Newton Abbot race earlier this month when he was brought down by Colour Squadron when in a pretty strong position. Despite that slice of misfortune, Nigel Twiston-Davies must still have been happy enough to have seen him travel so fluently after such a long spell on the sidelines.

With the Naunton handler in typically good form for this time of the year, little wonder Double Ross makes a swift return in the Charlie Hall, a race which often throws up an upset.

Any further rainfall would be beneficial, but the 152-rated chaser remains open to limitless potential this season and seldom wavers in Graded races of this nature.

MORE OF THAT will not be available at princely odds, but it is hard to make a case against him in the Grade Two bet365 Hurdle.

Jonjo O'Neill's World Hurdle winner is unbeaten in five starts and can uphold Cheltenham form with the unpredictable At Fishers Cross.

Good Flat racing at Newmarket, too, with SUDDEN WONDER a likely sort for the AGMA Holdings James Seymour Stakes.

Godolphin's colt has probably not developed quite as connections might have expected, but he looked energised for a break at York when he accounted for the useful Fattsota in an extended 10-furlong handicap.

The son of New Approach also landed a valuable sales races over this course and distance in April, with his good third in the Listed Derby Trial at Lingfield in May a reminder of his worth at this grade.

IRISH ROOKIE made quite an impact on his debut at Newmarket three weeks ago and can take the next step along the ladder by winning the EBF Stallions Montrose Fillies' Stakes.

Martyn Meade's youngster surprised everyone except his wise trainer when he struck at odds of 50-1 in what looked a solid maiden over seven furlongs.

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