Paul Nicholls warns Sir Alex Ferguson's Clan Des Obeaux not heading to Haydock for day out in Betfair Chase
SAM TWISTON-DAVIES will jump back on Clan Des Obeaux in Saturday’s Betfair Chase at Haydock.
Trainer Paul Nicholls will send his star north for the big Grade 1 on his way to defending his King George crown.
And with stable jockey Harry Cobden set to partner Cyrname at Kempton again, it gives Sam Twiston-Davies the chance to play super-sub.
Only five were entered on Monday for the Haydock feature, but with Bristol De Mai and Losintranslation heading the market, on paper it looks a competitive renewal.
However, a bullish Nicholls makes his two-time King George champ owned by landlord Paul Barber, Ged Mason and Sir Alex the one to beat.
He said: “In my view he’d be one of the ones to beat.
“He's a dual King George winner and we've set out to win this race and not just go there as a prep for Kempton.
“All our big chasers are in really good shape and he's got a big chance at the weekend."
The sponsors make Lostinstranslation the 5-4 favourite, with Bristol De Mai next in at 7-4 and Clan Des Obeaux 3-1.
But the Ditcheat maestro is warning the trip to Merseyside is not just a warm-up for next month’s King George.
Grade 1 Betfair Chase Betting
Bristol De Mai 7-4
Clan Des Obeaux 3-1
Keeper Hill 33-1
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Nicholls added: “He's only eight, so he's probably at his peak and he just looks a different horse now.
"I don't know why but he's more athletic and stronger and his work's been good.
“Sam came in and schooled him very nicely. He jumped very well and was very fresh, so I'm very happy with him.
“Harry will be at Ascot on Saturday and if Cyrname makes it to Kempton in one piece then Sam will ride Clan Des Obeaux again there so it all makes sense.”
Warren Greatrex’s Keeper Hill and Sandy Thomson’s new recruit Bellshill make up the field of five.
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