Aye Right poised to take Cotswold Chase challenge

Harriet Graham has confirmed the Paddy Power Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham as the preferred weekend target for stable star Aye Right.

After being placed in the Charlie Hall at Wetherby, the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury, the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster and at the Cheltenham Festival last season, the eight-year-old was last seen claiming an overdue victory in the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle in November.

Graham gave her charge the option of returning to Doncaster for a second tilt at the Sky Bet Chase on Saturday, having filled the runner-up spot behind Takingrisks 12 months ago.

But with Aye Right burdened with top-weight of 11st 12lb in the Town Moor handicap, his Roxburghshire-based trainer is set to instead send him to Prestbury Park for a recognised Gold Cup trial.

Graham said: “I’m pretty sure we’re going for the Cotswold, unless the Sky Bet gets rid of all those lowly-weighted progressive horses, which I don’t think it will.

“I know we carry a penalty at Cheltenham, but that’s in a maximum eight-runner race compared to a 20-odd runner race at Doncaster.

“I’d like to think he goes to Cheltenham with a good chance. We aim to run him at the Festival, all going well, either in the Ultima or the Gold Cup, so to have a spin round there makes sense.

“This will give us a better idea of which way we’re going at the Festival, definitely.”

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