Constitution Hill takes on four rivals including the enigmatic Goshen on his seasonal reappearance; L'Homme Presse took last season's Brown Advisory Novices' Chase at Cheltenham and returns in the 1965 Chase, live on Sky Sports Racing
Thursday 17 November 2022 11:27, UK
Gold Cup hope L'Homme Presse will make his seasonal debut in the Chanelle Pharma 1965 Chase at Ascot on Saturday - a card which also features the return of Champion Hurdle favourite Constitution Hill.
The Venetia Williams-trained L'Homme Presse was one of the last season's leading novice chasers, winning his first five races, culminating in an impressive victory over Ahoy Senor in the Grade One Brown Advisory at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Though that rival turned the tables on him in his final outing of the campaign at the Mildmay Novices' Chase at Aintree, L'Homme Presse remains a genuine Gold Cup contender this season.
Andy Edwards, who owns the son of Diamond Boy in partnership with Peter Pink under the DFA Racing banner, is happy that the rain has arrived for L'Homme Presse, who is among a field of five, although Paul Nicholls has stated this race as a second preference for Hitman. Saint Calvados, Coole Cody and Do Your Job are the others declared.
"The rain has come in time. We are not as ground-dependent as everybody thinks," said Edwards.
Watch the November Racing Weekend from Ascot, featuring the Coral Hurdle, all live on Sky Sports Racing on November 18-19.
"Good to soft ground is fine for him, soft is fine and he will go in heavy. He can run on good ground, but we wouldn't be wanting to run him on good ground this early in the season unless we have to.
"The target is the Gold Cup. This is very much a pipe-opener for him. His fitness levels are good but he will come on a lot for the run.
"This is a good, quality race and there are some very good horses in there. With his Grade One penalty, that brings them back to us a bit."
Watch the Grade One Betfair Fighting Fifth Hurdle from Newcastle live on Sky Sports Racing on November 26
Constitution Hill will face four in the Coral Hurdle, with Nicky Henderson's potential star up against Goshen, Brewin'upastorm, For Pleasure and Uhtred.
Last season's Arkle hero Edwardstone, meanwhile, will carry top weight in the £125,000 Jim Barry Wines Hurst Park Handicap Chase. Third Time Lucki, Thyme White, Before Midnight and Frero Banbou are among a field of nine.