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Solo and Editeur Du Gite set to clash as six declare for Haldon Gold Cup

3 minute read

Gary Moore’s Clarence House winner Editeur Du Gite will take on five rivals including the Paul Nicholls-trained Solo in Friday’s feature Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter.

Racecourse : Exeter (Great Britain).
Racecourse : Exeter (Great Britain). Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Progressive chaser Editeur Du Gite plyed his trade in Grade 1 company for much of last season, which included a hard-fought success in the rearranged Clarance House Chase at Cheltenham in January before finishing fourth in both the Queen Mother Champion Chase and Celebration Chase.

However, the gelded son of Saddex will have to give away upwards of a stone to his five rivals on Friday if he is to make a successful reappearance in this limited handicap chase.

Amongst his five contenders will be the Paul Nicholls-trained Solo, who will be bidding to enhance his fourteen-time champion Jump trainer's fabulous record in the Exeter feature.

The Johnny de la Hey-owned seven-year-old will bid to give Ditcheat handler Nicholls a record-extending ninth win in the extended two miles and one furlong Grade 2 on his seasonal reappearance.

Although frustrating on his first season over fences, the son of Kapgarde found the winning formula over the larger obstacles last campaign, with the highlight coming on his penultimate start in the Grade 2 Coral Pendil Novices' Chase at Kempton Park in February.

Solo failed to complete on his final start in the Grade 2 bet365 Oaksey Chase at Sandown Park on the last day of the season, Cobden, who is booked to ride the seven-year-old on Friday, believes he can leave that outing behind on his return to action in the £80,000 limited handicap chase.

Cobden said: "Solo has a nice weight in the Haldon Gold Cup with Editeur Du Gite running.

"He won a terrible renewal of the Adonis Hurdle and then got given a mark of 157. He spent the next 18 months trying to get that mark down and eventually got down to 135 before he got the ball rolling again last season. 

"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."

It will be the first time that Solo has run over a trip as short as the one he will tackle on his next assignment in more than 18 months, however, Cobden does not foresee that, or the prospect of soft conditions, being a problem on Friday.

Cobden said: "That trip should suit him as it is a lovely galloping track so I can't see that being an issue.

"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. 

"He is a nice, honest, kind horse that is very easy to deal with. He is well-spirited and is just a nice horse to have around. 

"This is worth a few quid and if he won this, he would have his season paid for and he would only have to tip away afterwards."

Mouse Morris, who enjoyed a successful English raid when Gentlemansgame won the Grade 2 Charlie Hall at Wetherby last week, will saddle Indiana Jones for the same connections, while Joe Tizzard will be double-handed courtesy of Elixir De Nutz and War Lord. The Venetia Williams-trained Brave Seasca rounds out the six declarations.

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