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Nicky Richards has Guitar Pete tuned up for Ascot charge
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Nicky Richards has Guitar Pete tuned up for Ascot charge
on 19 January 2018
Trainer Nicky Richards has long had the bet365 Handicap Chase in mind for Guitar Pete who won the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup

GUITAR Pete will attempt to add to his vast gains from Cheltenham last month when he runs in the bet365 Handicap Chase at Ascot.

Trainer Nicky Richards has long had this valuable race in mind for the revitalised grey, who won the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup.

One blip in the BetVictor Gold Cup aside - and even then he was very unlucky - Guitar Pete has been in grand form this season and also won a listed race at Wetherby in November.

Richards said: "It's a nice prize and he's doing us proud. He's ready for another run, so this looks the race."

Nigel Twiston-Davies has a big weekend ahead and saddles the hat-trick-seeking Robinshill.

The seven-year-old arrives at Ascot on top of his form, having landed two handicap chases at Ludlow in November.

He is, though, another 6lb higher in the handicap than when he last did the business at the Shropshire circuit.

The Naunton handler said: "He's won his last two and seems to be improving nicely.

"This is a step up in class but he's thoroughly warranted a go at it.

"He's rated in the 140s now so he'll be running on Saturdays. He's a progressive type."

Acting Lass is also on a hat-trick for the Harry Fry team, while Shantou Flyer takes his chance too.

The latter, trained by Richard Hobson, was last seen finishing second to Ballyhill in a Grade 3 handicap chase at Cheltenham on New Year's Day.

Ben Pauling is expecting a big run from Le Breuil in the Grade 3 Holloway's Handicap Hurdle.

The six-year-old suffered a surprise reverse to Black Ivory at Aintree when sent off the even-money favourite in a four-runner contest, but the winner has since franked the form with victory at Warwick.

"He seems well and has been working well at home," said Pauling.

"He's a horse I've always thought was a decent animal. He was beaten last time off top-weight on very heavy ground giving a lot of weight away to a horse who has proven its form.

"It was hard work for him, but I would hope on better ground he'd have a decent chance."

Evan Williams feels Oxwich Bay deserves a chance after following up a good second to Magic Dancer at Cheltenham by opening his account in a maiden hurdle at Ffos Las over a similar trip to this one.

The Llancarfan trainer said: "We just thought it was worth a crack. He's been progressive and ran well in Cheltenham. It's a good prize and we thought we'd give it a go over that trip."

Twiston-Davies is responsible for Jabulani, who won well at Lingfield in November but was then comprehensively defeated in a competitive handicap hurdle at Newbury last month.

He said "Jabulani seems to face a bit of a stiff task but he's fit and well so we may as well have a go. Someone has got to win."

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