GBI RACING

Nigel Hawke eyes Ascot Chase for Speredek

Speredek The Betfair Ascot Chase looks "the most likely port of call" for Speredek.
Nigel Hawke's stable star lost nothing in defeat behind multiple Grade One winner Un De Sceaux in the Clarence House Chase on Saturday.
Speredek, who had plenty to find on official ratings, was only beaten seven lengths and is likely to stay in Grade One company at Ascot on February 17.
Hawke has repeatedly said Speredek must go right-handed and needs soft ground, which makes a Cheltenham Festival appearance unlikely.
"I keep going on about he must go right-handed but the form book tells you nearly every time he's disappointed it's been going left," said the Devon handler.
"He also hugs the rail a bit, which is an advantage going right.
"Ascot looks the most likely port of call. I've been scouring the programme book in Ireland even but there doesn't appear to be a better option.
"I spoke to the handicapper before the race and he was honest in saying if you get with 10 lengths of Un De Sceaux we'll be due a big rise.
"We've taken on just about the best horse in training there and he's only beaten us seven lengths off level weights. Wouldn't it have been interesting if the race was still a handicap?
"There's a month between now and Ascot, and after that there's the race at Sandown (Celebration Chase) and possibly Punchestown but the ground may have gone against him by then.
"He's won over nearly three miles already, so if he proves he can stay two-five in top-class company at Ascot then it really will open up some more doors."

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