Editeur Du Gite to defend Desert Orchid title

Editeur Du Gite is set for a return to Kempton over the Christmas period where he will attempt to defend his Ladbrokes Desert Orchid Handicap Chase crown.

Gary Moore’s nine-year-old was a shock 28-1 scorer when landing the then Grade Two prize 12 months ago and went on to claim the rearranged Clarence House Chase at Cheltenham, downing Energumene and Edwardstone in the process.

He has failed to hit those same heights since, but could be rejuvenated by a return to both the Sunbury track and better ground for a race that is now run as a limited handicap.

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“Hopefully the ground wouldn’t be too soft for him because he does like better ground and he hasn’t had it so far this year,” said Moore. “We look forward to seeing him run there again.”

Editeur Du Gite could face a maximum of 10 rivals which could include former stablemate and Tingle Creek third Haddex Des Obeaux, who has since moved to Nicky Henderson and is in line for his first outing for the Seven Barrows handler.

Harry Fry’s Boothill made it two from two for the season when getting the better Frere D’Armes at Ascot last month and the duo could lock horns once again, with the latter one of two in the mix for Dan Skelton alongside 2020 race winner Nube Negra.

Kim Bailey’s First Flow is another to chase home Boothill this term and amongst the entries, while Joe Tizzard has the option of saddling both the in-form Elixir De Nutz and War Lord.

Elixir De Nutz in full flow at Newbury earlier this month
Elixir De Nutz in full flow at Newbury earlier this month (Steven Paston/PA)

The supporting Ladbrokes Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase has attracted 10 entries and could see Sarah Humphrey’s Nickle Back drop back to the minimum distance.

The seven-year-old has been something of a star turn for the Cambridgeshire handler and was last seen chasing home the high-class Hermes Allen in the John Francome Novices’ Chase at Newbury.

Humphrey said: “He’s got that high cruising speed and I have dithered about doing it, but thought ‘yes, we’ll give two miles a go’.

“He has obviously won over two and a half miles and runs very well but he does tend to set it up for the ones behind him, so we’ll drop him back, give him a go and see what happens.”

Others to note include Venetia Williams’ Djelo, who is two from two over fences and impressed at Newbury recently, and the useful Marble Sands, who was a couple of places behind Nickle Back most recently and represents training duo David Killahena and Graeme McPherson.

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