Denman Chase 2022 Entries: Cheltenham Gold Cup hope Royale Pagaille heads field of six

Royal Pagaille Haydock

Fresh from retaining his Peter Marsh crown at Haydock Park, Cheltenham Gold Cup hopeful Royale Pagaille is one of six horses entered for the Grade 2 Denman Chase at Newbury on Betfair Hurdle day this Saturday...

The classy Venetia Williams-trained eight-year-old Royale Pagaille produced a career best when bounding to victory in the Peter Marsh, and he was duly handed quotes of 22/1 for the Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival on March 18, and he could well use Saturday's event as a springboard to the festival.

Sixth in last season's Gold Cup, Williams will be hoping her star stayer can make it two wins from two in 2022 and claim glory in Saturday's event, but he could face some notable opposition from the yard of Paul Nicholls.

Nicholls has entered both Clan Des Obeaux and Brown Advisory Novices' Chase hope Bravemansgame in the Denman Chase, but followers of the latter should tread carefully at this stage as Nicholls is hoping to run his exciting novice in the novice handicap chase on the same card earlier in the afternoon.

A sensational winner of the Kauto Star Novices' Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day, Bravemansgame is second behind Galopin Des Champs in the Brown Advisory ante-post betting, and he will head to Newbury to extend his unbeaten chasing run.

But, Nicholls is hoping just to saddle Clan Des Obeaux, who was last seen finishing second in the King George VI Chase, as he said providing Clan Des Obeaux is 100% fit then he will be the one taking his chance. A winner of this contest back in 2019, Clan Des Obeaux was only beaten a neck by stablemate Secret Investor last season, so he will look to go one better here.

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Runner-up in last season's Arkle Challenge Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival, Eldorado Allen has failed to kick on from a win in the Haldon Gold Cup at the start of the season, and was last seen finishing second in the Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton Park. A model of consistency, Colin Tizzard's grey will be a solid contender for this event, and adds depth.

Former winner of the novices' handicap chase at the Cheltenham Festival, Imperial Aura has struggled to produce his best form last season, and Kim Bailey's raider was last seen pulling up in the Many Clouds Chase at Aintree. A class act when on song, Imperial Aura is a fascinating contender here, while Emma Lavelle's De Rasher Counter completes the sextet. Not seen since finishing second over hurdles at Newton Abbot back in 2020, the former Ladbrokes Trophy hero is on a comeback mission, if taking his chance, but has shown he is a decent performer at his peak.

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