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Gary Moore’s Editeur Du Gite will commence the new campaign in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter on Friday, carrying top weight against five rivals.
The nine-year-old was a surprise winner of Grade 2 Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton Park over Christmas and followed up with a victory in the rescheduled Group 1 Clarence House Chase at Cheltenham, beating dual Champion Chase winner Energumene and Edwardstone.
Although Editeur Du Gite appeared well-held when fourth in the Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, his best form puts him firmly in the top ranks of two-mile chasers.
"He's a good horse and a very genuine horse who always does his best for you," said Gary 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.
"That will be the plan [returning to Graded races] 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 a good record in the race with four Haldon Gold Cup victories from the last ten renewals and will be represented by current favourite Solo. A talented hurdler, Solo enjoyed mixed fortunes as a novice chaser but did win the Grade 2 Pendil Novices' Chase at Kempton Park in February.
"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," said jockey Harry Cobden.
"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."
Mouse Morris will be having a first runner at Exeter following his successful raid on the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby last week, with Indiana Jones set to represent the team.
Joe Tizzard fields War Lord and Elixir De Nutz whilst Brave Seasca will be the sole runner from the Venetia Williams yard.