Benatar backed to bounce back at Ascot

Seven-year-old has high-class form to his name

  • Friday 18 January
  • News
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Connections of Benatar are hoping he can kick-start his season with victory in the bet365 Handicap Chase at Ascot on Saturday.

The Gary Moore-trained seven-year-old will bid to open his account for the campaign in the £75,000 two-mile-five-furlong contest – for which he is the general 9-2 favourite – and score for the first time since landing a Grade Two over course and distance more than a year ago.

Owner Ashley Head said: “He has not been quite the horse he was a year ago.

“Gary has done a remarkable job to keep him in training. He just over-reached and tore something inside when he came third in the JLT (Novices’ Chase, at Cheltenham).

“We will see how he is, but he should have a good chance at Ascot on Saturday.”

Robert Walford believes Mr Medic will be more at home back at Ascot than he was at Cheltenham last time out.

He said: “Mr Medic is in good form and I’ve just got a feeling he is better going right-handed as he doesn’t seem to change his legs soon enough going the other way so going back to Ascot will hopefully suit him.

“He was good at Ascot on his return to action but this is a tougher race and he is 9lb higher. I don’t think he has got much left in hand.”

Mick Channon’s Cheltenham Festival winner Mister Whitaker Kerry Lee’s Happy Diva and the long-absent Belami Des Pictons – trained by the in-form Venetia Williams – also feature in a fiercely-competitive event.

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