CHELTENHAM Gold Cup winner A Plus Tard is odds-on to win back-to-back Betfair Chases after just five other horses were left in the three-mile Grade 1 this week.
The 180-rated chaser was a 22-length winner at Haydock last season and is priced at 1/2 with the sponsors over likely rivals Protektorat, three-time winner Bristol De Mai and last year’s runner-up Royale Pagaille for the race which takes place which takes place in two weeks time.
Run For Oscar, Charles Byrnes’s Cesarewtich winner, has also been installed favourite for the Betfair Exchange Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle on the same card.
Owners Cheveley Park Stud also have the current favourite for the King George VI Chase in Allaho. Entries for that three-mile contest at Kempton were also published this week with 18 put forward, six of which are Irish-trained.
Allaho, dual winner of the Ryanair Chase, added a new dimension of his form with an excellent win in the Punchestown Gold Cup over three miles last April. His trainer Willie Mullins has suggested that the King George is a target for him since.
If he runs he is likely to face Bravemansgame, who set himself up for Kempton with an impressive comeback win in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby last weekend.
DUAL Stayers’ Hurdle winner Flooring Porter is set to make his comeback in the Grade 2 Railway Bar Lismullen Hurdle at Navan next Sunday.
The seven-year-old fell at the second last in the race last year but went on to finish an unlucky second in the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown before his memorable title defence at Cheltenham.
“We’re on track to get him started at Navan,” said Gavin Cromwell. “All is well with him. It’s a lovely place to start him off and hopefully we have a better day than we did there last year, when he fell.
“He’s been in great form since he came back in and he’s only seven so hopefully we’ve got plenty more big days with him. We’ll get Sunday out of the way but all being well, we’ll go back to Leopardstown at Christmas and then on to Cheltenham again.”
Before the three-time Grade 1 winner returns, his full brother will be sold at the November National Hunt Sale which begins today at Tattersalls.
Speaking to that sales company ahead of the sale, his Galway breeder Sean Murphy said: “I’m delighted with him. He’s a totally different (to Flooring Porter). He will be a bigger, scopier horse. He’s a placid horse and very easy to work with.
“If he has any little part of what Flooring Porter has, I’m sure he’ll make a lovely racehorse.”