Davy Russell lands L'Ami Serge ride in Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster

Davy Russell will ride ante-post favourite L'Ami Serge in the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster on Saturday.

  • Thursday 25 January
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Davy Russell will ride ante-post favourite L'Ami Serge in the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster on Saturday.

Last year's French Champion Hurdle hero has filled the runner-up spot in the Coral Hurdle and the Long Walk at Ascot so far this season and is set for his first appearance over fences in over a year.

Daryl Jacob has partnered the Nicky Henderson-trained L'Ami Serge on 13 of his last 15 starts, but with the owners' retained rider heading to Cheltenham to team up with Gold Cup contender Bristol De Mai in the BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase, among others, connections have called on dual Irish champion jockey Russell.

Anthony Bromley, racing manager for Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, said: " Davy Russell will ride L'Ami Serge at Doncaster on Saturday. We feel it's a good fit.

"Daryl was initially thinking of going to Doncaster, but we thought about it and Bristol De Mai is our highest-rated horse and he runs at Cheltenham.

"Daryl knows Bristol De Mai well, so we felt it was important he rode him. This is what happens on Saturdays and I'm sure there'll be more clashes in the coming weeks."

L'Ami Serge features in a 14-strong field, with Tenor Nivernais the only horse above him in the weights.

Alan King, who has won the prestigious contest for the last two years with Ziga Boy, relies on Label Des Obeaux, who was last seen pulling up in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury.

Ziga Boy's owners, the Axom syndicate, bid for a third straight success with another grey in Vibrato Valtat, trained by Emma Lavelle.

Paul Nicholls last claimed this prize with Big Fella Thanks in 2009 and is represented by Warriors Tale this time around.

Other leading contenders include Nigel Twiston-Davies' Flying Angel, Wakanda from Sue Smith's yard and Dan Skelton's Long House Hall, who has not been seen in competitive action since winning the Summer Plate at Market Rasen in July 2016.

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