Buzz headlines Henderson trio in Long Walk Hurdle

Buzz heads a field of nine runners declared for the Howden Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday.

Nicky Henderson’s charge is on a hat-trick after winning the Cesarewitch at Newmarket and the Coral Hurdle at Ascot this autumn – and tests the water over three miles for the first time this weekend.

Henderson also saddles Champ, who reverts to the smaller obstacles on his first competitive appearance since being pulled up in the Cheltenham Gold Cup nine months ago.

On The Blind Side, who filled the runner-up spot in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury three weeks ago, is a third runner for the Seven Barrows team.

Also in contention are Olly Murphy’s Long Distance Hurdle winner Thomas Darby, the third home Paisley Park and the fifth Lisnagar Oscar.

The Emma Lavelle-trained Paisley Park bids for a third Long Walk success after triumphing in 2018 and getting the better of a thrilling battle with Thyme Hill 12 months ago.

Thyme Hill, trained by Philip Hobbs, renews rivalry with Paisley Park, but needs to bounce back from a disappointing run in France.

Irish hopes are carried by Matthew Smith’s Ronald Pump, who was second to the brilliant mare Honeysuckle in the Hatton’s Grace at Fairyhouse for the second year in succession last month.

Hughie Morrison’s outsider Third Wind completes the line-up.

Regal Encore (right) at Ascot
Regal Encore (right) at Ascot (Julian Herbert/PA)

Cloth Cap and Regal Encore lead the way in the £70,000 Howden Silver Cup Handicap Chase.

The Anthony Honeyball-trained Regal Encore, who will officially turn 14 in a fortnight, is bidding to win the race for a third time following victories in 2016 and 2019.

Belami Des Pictons (Venetia Williams) and Grand Sancy (Paul Nicholls) are other leading hopes.

A total prize fund of £105,000 is up for grabs in the concluding Betfair Exchange Trophy, with Gary Moore’s Goshen heading the weights on his handicap debut.

His 13 rivals include Dan Skelton’s Greatwood Hurdle winner West Cork, Henderson’s Greatwood third No Ordinary Joe and Onemorefortheroad, who is on a four-timer for Neil King.

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