Dashel Drasher team hoping for Cheltenham rain

Dashel Drasher could bid to defy top weight in the Racing Post Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday as long there is enough cut in the ground.

Connections of the Jeremy Scott-trained eight-year-old are keen to have a go at the valuable handicap chase if conditions are suitable.

Scott reports his stable star to have taken his seasonal reappearance at Ascot, where he was third to Lostintranslation, in his stride.

“If we get enough rain and the ground is good to soft or soft, I think the owners will be quite keen to run as it ties in possibly with the Silviniaco Conti Chase (at Kempton) later on in January,” said Scott.

“It gives a nice time gap, but we’ll very much see what the weather does.

“He seems to have come out of his race really well. All’s good.”

A field of 21 remain at the five-day confirmation stage including ante-post favourite Lalor.

The nine-year-old, trained by Paul Nicholls, heads the market thanks to his fine effort when taking third place behind Midnight Shadow in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at the Prestbury Park venue last month.

That was his first start since he moved to Ditcheat from Kayley Woollacott’s Crewkerne yard.

Midnight Shadow could bid to double up for trainer Sue Smith. Others from that race include Philip Hobbs’ Dostal Phil, who was fourth, and the Evan Williams-trained Coole Cody. He came down at the second-last fence when holding every chance.

Nicky Henderson’s Fusil Raffles could try to back up his fortunate success in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby when he capitalised on the fall of Shan Blue. However, he also holds an entry in the Unibet International Hurdle on the same card.

Dan Skelton is four-handed with Amoola Gold, Alnadam, Knight In Dubai and Beakstown while the Emmet Mullins-trained Noble Yeats in the sole Irish entry.

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