King ace back in the old routine

Connections of Uxizandre are hoping the six-year-old can start the season the way he ended the last campaign with victory at Aintree.

The Alan King-trained gelding signed off for 2013-14 by beating Oscar Whisky in the Grade One Manifesto Novices’ Chase at the Liverpool track and now takes on seasoned performers in the Betfred Monet’s Garden Old Roan Chase there on Saturday.

“He’s in good form. It’s his first run of the season and we’re hoping for a good run,” said Frank Berry, racing manager to owner J P McManus.

“He took to the place well when he won there in the spring and Alan’s very happy with him.”

King is excited at getting Uxizandre up and running for the new campaign.

“We are all looking forward to getting the horse rolling again,” the Barbury Castle trainer told He enjoyed a terrific novice season, just being beaten at Cheltenham (in the JLT Novices’ Chase) but going one better in the Grade One at the Aintree Festival.

“He definitely seems to have improved since we changed the tactics and rode him more aggressively, and a left-handed track seems to suit him best, so this looks the ideal starting-point and we can then think about the Paddy Power (Gold Cup at Cheltenham on November 15).”

Lucinda Russell is delighted to get Bold Sir Brian back on the racecourse after his enforced 18-month absence.

The eight-year-old looked a smart prospect in 2012 when his victories included the Future Stars Chase at Sandown.

“I’m really pleased to have him back. He’s been off for a long time. It’s a fact-finding mission tomorrow,” said the Kinross trainer.

“We hope he retains all his old ability. If he does he could be on a good handicap mark.

“He’s ready to go. He’s been in training since February.”

Tom Cooper believes Lucky William is fit enough to do himself justice on his third start since returning from almost 26 months off the track after winning the Grade One Ryanair Chase at Punchestown in April 2012. “He had an unfortunate fall in Gowran, but came out of it fine and I’ve managed to get him going again,” said Tralee-based Cooper.


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