Tag Archive for: Solo

Editeur Du Gite primed for Haldon Gold Cup return

Editeur Du Gite returns to the handicaps ranks at Exeter where he will attempt to show his class and carry top-weight to victory in the Betway Haldon Gold Cup.

Gary Moore’s nine-year-old has always been a useful operator in the two-mile chasing division but took his form to the next level last season, causing a surprise in the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton before shocking again in the rearranged Clarence House Chase on Cheltenham Festival Trials Day.

He downed both Energumene and Edwardstone in the latter of those victories and was sent off a 13-2 chance for the Champion Chase at the Festival in March, finishing fourth before ending his campaign when well held in the Celebration Chase.

He has been freshened up during the summer months following that catalogue of stiff assignments and now returns with the task of conceding over a stone to his rivals.

“He’s a good horse and a very genuine horse who always does his best for you,” said Moore.

“I just hope the ground isn’t too soft down there, that is one thing that won’t help is carrying all that weight in that type of ground.

“The stiff track will suit him, he is just going to have to give a lot of weight away.

“He’s fit enough to go there and do himself justice anyway, we will just have to see if he’s as good as he was.”

Editeur Du Gite (right) clears a fence before going on to win the Albert Bartlett Clarence House Chase at Cheltenham
Editeur Du Gite (right) clears a fence before going on to win the Albert Bartlett Clarence House Chase at Cheltenham (David Davies/PA)

Although beginning the season in handicap company, Moore envisages a return to graded action before too long as the Lower Beeding handler plots a route back to the big two-mile chasing contests in the spring.

He added: “That will be the plan as that is the way his handicap mark is heading him now. There’s not a lot else otherwise.

“He fooled me twice last year going right-handed and also going in soft ground, which he had never done before.

“He will need to improve a little bit more, but if he could do what he did last year, that will be good enough for me anyway.”

Paul Nicholls has won this four times in the last 10 years, including with dual victor Greaneteen 12 months ago.

Solo winning the Coral Pendil Novices’ Chase at Kempton
Solo winning the Coral Pendil Novices’ Chase at Kempton (Nigel French/PA)

This time it is Solo that is entrusted with upholding Ditcheat’s honour and his rider Harry Cobden is optimistic he can replicate the best of his novice chase form from last season.

He said: “He had one season where he didn’t win anything over fences, but he was quite highly campaigned and then last season he won a nice novice chase at Sandown and then he won the Pendil at Kempton Park.

“His jumping improved no end last season and he was brilliant when I rode him around Kempton. He was very good at Sandown as well, which is a good jumping test.

“I’m not saying he is going there with loads in hand, but Paul historically does well in this race and that is why I think he has got a nice chance.”

The pick of Solo’s form has come over two and a half miles, but Cobden does not envisage any problems dropping back in distance at the Devon venue.

“The trip should suit him as it is a lovely, galloping track so I can’t see that being an issue” he added.

“The ground is going to be fairly testing at Exeter on Friday, but it was fairly soft at Sandown when he won. He has got a good few things going for him.”

Mouse Morris successfully completed a raiding mission in the Charlie Hall Chase last Saturday and looks to repeat the dose with Indiana Jones, who like Gentlemansgame runs in the colours of owners Robcour.

It will be the handler’s first runner at the track and he said: “I had to look on the map to see where it was!

“We decided it was worth a go as it’s a big pot. He probably wants a bit further but it’s a stiff enough track, so he should be all right.

“He would have come on a good bit from the run in Cork, so we’ll see how we go.”

Joe Tizzard’s War Lord finished third in the race last year and returns following wind surgery hoping to go closer, while he is joined in the line-up by stablemate Elixir De Nutz, who was a Tolworth Hurdle winner in his younger years and was beaten only a nose in his previous appearance at this track.

Venetia Williams’ Brave Seasca completes the field of six heading to post.

Solo effort one to savour for Nicholls at Kempton

Solo produced an exhibition round of jumping from the front to provide trainer Paul Nicholls with a yet another victory in the Coral Pendil Novices’ Chase at Kempton.

The Ditcheat handler had saddled a dozen previous winners of the Grade Two contest, with his last three – Cyrname (2018), Tamaroc Du Mathan (2021) and Pic D’Orhy (2022) – all carrying the Solo silks of owner Johnny de la Hey.

Solo had undergone wind surgery since finishing second in a novice handicap at Kempton on Boxing Day and it appears to have done the trick judged on this impressive display.

The 11-4 shot was bounced out in front from flag-fall by Harry Cobden and some slick jumping kept the pressure on his chasing rivals.

Datsalrightgino and 15-8 favourite Boothill attempted to close the gap from the home turn, but Solo was not for catching with another bold leap at the final fence sealing his two-length success.

Nicholls said: “We had a few issues with his breathing and had to cauterise his palate. He had three weeks off and I thought he might be two weeks off his best.

“If we can keep his wind right there’s a lot to look forward to. There’s a race at Sandown the Saturday before the Festival and another valuable handicap here the day after.

“Harry is brilliant when he dictates from the front and he was just that today.”