Saturday, 18 November 2017

November Meeting: West Approach bids to emulate Thistlecrack in chasing challenge

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West Approach will aim to follow in the footsteps of stablemate Thistlecrack as he takes on just two rivals in the Novices' Chase (1:15).

The seven-year-old placed twice in Graded company as a novice hurdler last season, and made a pleasing introduction to chasing when winning easily at Ffos Las by nine lengths.

Thistlecrack came here with a much bigger and better reputation and stormed clear at odds of 1-7, before striking in the King George a month later. West Approach shares the same colours and connections, and hopes are high they can reclaim this prize.

"He took to chasing really nicely at Ffos Las last time," said Joe Tizzard, assistant and son to Colin.

"We want to get some Cheltenham experience into him, and he's done very well in his work.

"He comes here as a highly rated hurdler and I think he'll be every bit as good over fences."

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Paul Nicholls' Black Corton is seeking a sixth straight victory today

Black Corton is hoping to add another victory to his name following his ten length success at this venue last month.

He has won five in a row for the ten-time champion trainer, and there's no clear reason why he can't add another.

"He just keeps on improving and has been on a tremendous roll, jumping and galloping and winning," Nicholls told his Betfair blog.

"Things are getting tougher now as he takes on better opposition in a stronger race but you can't knock his form and he goes very well for Bryony Frost who again advertised her skills with a brilliant and intelligent ride on Present Man at Wincanton last Saturday.

"Black Corton will have a break at some point but he is still improving so we will keep running him while he remains in such good form."

Ballyoptic is the other runner of the trio. Nigel Twiston-Davies' seven-year-old ran out an easy 13 length winner on his chasing bow last week.

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