Vision Des Flos ready for battle as he tackles Persian War at Chepstow

Sat 14 Oct 2017

Goffs Land Rover Bumper winner Vision Des Flos is thrown in at the deep end on his jumping debut in the totepool Persian War Novices' Hurdle at Chepstow on Sunday.

The French-bred gelding claimed the lucrative Punchestown prize by a neck in the spring for Irish trainer Robert Tyner, before changing hands for 270,000 euros just two days later.

Now with Colin Tizzard, the four-year-old will carry the colours of leading owner Alan Potts in this weekend's Grade Two contest, with Bryan Cooper taking the ride.

Joe Tizzard, assistant to his father, told At The Races: "He won his bumper, then we got our hands on him and turned him out, he's a lovely, big horse.

"His previous owners had prepped him to run in a point-to-point, so he's done a lot of schooling."

Vision Des Flos faces nine rivals over the best part of two and a half miles in Monmouthshire.

Paul Nicholls has saddled five of the last 10 winners and relies on Amour De Nuit, who claimed his third win from eight starts over hurdles at Newton Abbot last month.

Comfortably the most experienced horse in the field is the Donald McCain-trained Dear Sire.

The five-year-old has run 15 times over obstacles, winning on six occasions, and was last seen finishing fifth in the Listed Prelude Hurdle at Market Rasen.

With an official rating of 138, McCain's charge sets the standard.

"He's bringing summer form into the winter and there are obviously a lot of less exposed horses in the race, but he's a hardened racehorse and his rating says he deserves to take his chance," said the trainer.

"He was a bit unlucky last time. But for making a mistake two out, I think he would have been a good second.

"He's in good form and race-fit so we'll give it a go and see what happens."

Dan Skelton saddles Prelude Hurdle winner Listen To The Man, who is bidding for a fourth successive win, as well as Tommy Rapper.

Equus Amadeus has won an Exeter bumper and a Uttoxeter maiden hurdle for trainer Tom Lacey and is ridden by champion jockey Richard Johnson.

Lacey said: "I'm expecting a big run.

"Looking at the declared runners, it looks as though there'll be lots of pace on.

"He's in great nick, he'll love the ground and I'm looking forward to running him."

The Martin Keighley-trained Ballymountain Boy and Black Mischief from Harry Fry's stable are others to consider in a competitive contest.

An eight-race card gets under way with the Champion Hats Juvenile Hurdle.

Nicholls bids for a fifth win in six years with French recruit Malaya, while Gumball bids to make it two from two since joining Philip Hobbs following an impressive British debut at Stratford a fortnight ago.

Plenty of familiar names contest the Bob Champion Cancer Trust Veterans' Chase including Charlie Longsdon's Loose Chips and last year's winner Double Ross, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies.

Twiston-Davies said: "He won it last year and as far as we're concernedm he's in just as good form as he was then. We're hoping for great things again."

Tizzard fires a formidable twin assault at the John Ayres Memorial Handicap Chase, with Punchestown Festival hero Sizing Granite joined by Topham Chase-winning stablemate Ultragold.

"Sizing Granite was quite good as two-miler as a youngster, but he doesn't look like one on the gallops," said the Dorset-based trainer.

"We will start him off at two and half and just see if Punchestown was a fluke, but I don't think it will be.

"Ultragold was bought as a three-mile plus chaser, but he didn't win for us until he was dropped back to two miles and then he won the Topham at Aintree staying on.

"We bought him to be a Grand National horse and perhaps after all this time he is going to be a stayer."


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