Favour And Fortune bravely fended off a whole host of rivals from title-chasing yards to claim victory in the Coral Scottish Champion Hurdle.

Alan King’s six-year-old swept past the Paul Nicholls-trained front-runner Rubaud but was then pressed hard by Bialystok, from the Willie Mullins Irish raiding party.

However, Favour And Fortune – who was sixth in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham – kept on finding more for jockey Tom Cannon and his willing spirit got its just reward, as he rallied to score by half a length at 5-1.

Bialystok was a touch unlucky in second, having been denied a clear passage after coming through to challenge at the final flight.

Cracking Rhapsody finished third, while Afadil was fourth for Nicholls and Dan Skelton’s L’Eau Du Sud plugged on for fifth.

L’Eau Du Sud was sent off favourite, having finished second in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury and the County Hurdle at Cheltenham, but he had been unfortunate to be penalised a total of 9lb for those runner-up efforts and that just took its toll.

Edwardstone cruised to victory in the Betfair Exchange Game Spirit Chase at Newbury.

The 11-10 favourite under Tom Cannon, Alan King’s gelding made all of the running in the four-runner Grade Two.

His significant lead looked to lessen slightly with half of the race completed, but the gap soon widened again and was further increased when Boothill fell in the home straight.

Amarillo Sky did not finish either, leaving Funambule Sivola to trail home as the only other finisher some 40 lengths behind.

Edwardstone was notching his first victory since landing the 2022 Tingle Creek Chase and Coral responded to his sparkling success by cutting him to 8-1 from 14s for the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham.

Edwardstone bids to get his season back on track in the Betfair Exchange Game Spirit Chase at Newbury.

Winner of the Arkle at Cheltenham and the Tingle Creek at Sandown two years ago, Alan King’s stable star kicked off this season by chasing home the Nicky Henderson-trained Jonbon in successive races.

As a result, Edwardstone was stepped up in trip for last month’s Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton, but faded tamely after racing keenly and came home a well beaten last of four finishers.

King believes the decision to hold up the 10-year-old in a bid to conserve his stamina may have backfired and he is looking forward to seeing him return to two miles on Saturday, albeit in testing conditions.

“All is well, he seemed to come out of that run (at Kempton) in good form and he’s done plenty of work since,” said the Barbury Castle handler.

“I need to get him out and the ground is the same for all of them. He’s got form on heavy ground, I’m not saying he’s at his best on it, but he has gone on it and I’m very keen to run him.

“Kempton was disappointing and we don’t really know why, whether we disappointed him by taking him back, I’m not sure, but I’m inclined to put a line through that and we’ll see what happens on Saturday.”

Edwardstone is entered in the Queen Mother Champion Chase and the Ryanair Chase at next month’s Cheltenham Festival but King added: “I’m not even thinking about Cheltenham, I want to get Saturday out of the way and then we’ll see.”

His biggest threat this weekend appears to be Boothill, who won a couple of lucrative handicaps at Ascot in the autumn before falling as favourite for Kempton’s Desert Orchid Chase over the Christmas period.

Trainer Harry Fry has been pleased with his nine-year-old since, but will check on the ground before confirming his participation on Saturday.

He said: “He seems in good form with himself, he was thankfully none the worse for his fall and has schooled well since.

“It was obviously frustrating at Kempton, but we get to go again and this has always really been the plan. We are just mindful though that conditions could be testing enough, so we’ll just see when we get there how it’s riding and go from there.

“We took him out earlier in the season on heavy ground at Sandown in the Tingle Creek, so that’s the only slight reservation I have.

“He’s got form on soft, but heavy is a different ballgame.”

Editeur Du Gite won that Desert Orchid Chase in December, but subsequently finished last of five when defending his crown in the rescheduled Clarence House at Cheltenham, and Gary Moore has indicated he is likely to sidestep the race due to the ground.

The Venetia Williams-trained Funambule Sivola is out to secure a third successive victory in this Grade Two contest, but will need to bounce back from a disappointing run of form.

With Calico declared a non-runner, the field is completed by Joe Tizzard’s Amarillo Sky, who makes his first competitive appearance since finishing fourth in last year’s Clarence House.

Tom Cannon is optimistic the step up in trip will help Edwardstone return to winning ways in Saturday’s Coral Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton.

In two outings this season over two miles, Alan King’s charge has been no match for Jonbon but he did get appreciably closer to him in the Tingle Creek than on his seasonal reappearance in the Shloer Chase.

Saturday will be the 10-year-old’s first run over two and a half miles since a hurdles effort back in April 2021, but Cannon feels it is the right move.

“I think it is a logical move, as Edwardstone is not getting younger and now is as good a time as ever to step him up in trip,” he said.

“Although he has not run over this distance over fences, he ran well over two and a half miles over hurdles when he was third at Aintree (in 2021).

“We are going back to slightly calmer waters having run in the Tingle Creek last time, but there are still some good horses in this race.

“It is still a competitive race, so he will have to be at his best to win.

“All his best runs have been around Sandown and he definitely improved for the run at Cheltenham in the Tingle Creek.

“I was more than happy with his run. It was as good a run as he had put in for a long time.”

Cannon went on: “He felt back to his best and, fingers crossed, he can continue that form going forwards.

“He has not been over-raced and he has been well managed throughout his career, which has been a big help.

“He had a jump last Thursday at home and he jumped very well, so there is no problem in that department. He seemed fresh and very well, so I couldn’t be happier with him.”

Alan King has identified the Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton as a possible next port of call for Edwardstone following his admirable defence of the Tingle Creek on Saturday.

The nine-year-old was a brilliant winner of the Sandown showpiece last season and returned to the Esher track to defend his crown over the weekend.

Edwardstone had plenty on his plate as he looked to turn the tables on Jonbon following their clash in last month’s Shloer Chase at Cheltenham – and while he again came off second best, he did at least close the gap on Nicky Henderson’s star chaser.

King immediately ruled out an appearance over three miles in the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day, but the Barbury Castle handler is keen to step his charge up in trip on his next start.

“He ran very well and has come out of it well and we’ll probably look to step him up to two-and-a-half in the new year,” he said.

“He’s definitely not going for the King George, but there is the Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton in January. We’ll have a look at that and, whether he goes there or not, I think his next run will be over two-and-a-half, as it will give us an idea what we’re doing with him.”

With the Queen Mother Champion Chase already shaping up to be a straight shootout between Jonbon and his formidable Irish rival El Fabiolo, the Ryanair Chase could end up being Edwardstone’s Cheltenham Festival target if he can prove his stamina in the meantime.

King added: “You’ve obviously got Jonbon and the horse in Ireland and you wouldn’t really look forward to taking those two on.”

Alan King was pleased to “erase the memory” of Edwardstone’s no-show in the Champion Chase in March when chasing home Jonbon in the Shloer Chase on Sunday.

King now has to decide, with the help of connections, whether to take on Nicky Henderson’s Jonbon again in the Tingle Creek at Sandown on December 9 or step him up in trip for the Peterborough Chase the following day.

King has been musing for some time now that Edwardstone may need further than two miles to be seen at his best.

He said on his website, www.alankingracing.co.uk: ”I thought it was a smashing run, and it was such a relief to see Edwardstone erase the memory of last March.

“Cheltenham is still a mystery, but we can now look forward and it is a case of deciding whether to have a rematch with Jonbon when we defend our Tingle Creek crown on December 9 or wait 24 hours so we can step him up to two and a half miles for the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon.”

Tom Cannon cannot wait to be reunited with Edwardstone when he makes his seasonal reappearance in the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham on Sunday.

Alan King’s nine-year-old has shared many memorable days with the rider, none more so than their decisive Arkle victory at the Cheltenham Festival in 2022.

Last season included another Grade One success, this time in the Tingle Creek, and the bay was beaten just a head in the Clarence House in January.

There was no repeat Cheltenham Festival success as Edwardstone posted an uncharacteristic performance in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, but Cannon is happy to draw a line through that run as the duo return to the same track at the weekend.

He said: “Edwardstone has been good at home. I schooled him on Monday, and I schooled him last Monday as well. He seems very fresh and well in himself and I’m looking forward to Sunday.

“It is going to be a good race, but he doesn’t have any easy races now with the level he is at. He was meant to run in this race last season, but the ground was on the quicker side so he swerved it. He won first time out last year and he will be ready to go and do his best.

“He enjoyed it on Monday when I gave him a jump and he is a pleasure to have around and be involved with. He is a magnificent horse, not just to sit on but to look at as well.

“You get some horses that are good that might be small, but when you get on top of him it is like riding a horse into battle. He is a big strong brute of a horse that has got all the power in the right places.”

The Shloer Chase is run over a trip of two miles, Edwardstone’s usual trip, but there are discussions about stepping up in distance at a later point in the season and Cannon believes connections may find this outing helpful in making that decision.

“His pedigree suggests he will get further, and he ran further than two miles over hurdles and ran well. On his day he is a very quick two-miler which he showed in the Tingle Creek last season,” Cannon said.

“He probably wasn’t at his best after that, but we will see how we go in the race on Sunday and go from there.

“As he is getting bit older now, and with a few younger horses coming through, it might give us options if we go up further in trip.

“This is a case of testing the water with him and it is a nice place to go. I’m sure this will answer a few questions about where he will go for the rest of the season.”

Alan King is under no illusions about the task facing Trueshan as he prepares to lock horns with the formidable Kyprios in his bid for a fourth victory in the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup.

Trueshan was a brilliant winner of the Champions Day curtain-raiser in 2020 and has knuckled down in each of the past two seasons to complete the hat-trick.

There were some suggestions the seven-year-old was past his best after he was beaten in his first two starts this year, but subsequent victories in the Doncaster Cup and particularly when winning the Prix du Cadran three weeks ago suggest he is back to his best.

King said: “I’m very happy with him, he came out of the Cadran in great form and everything has gone according to plan really.

“The ground looks like it should be nice and soft and we can’t do any more.

“Not many horses get to come back for the same race three years running, let alone four, and getting him back to form to win at Doncaster and Longchamp has been very satisfying.”

While confident he has his stable star in rude health, King is wary of the the threat posed by Aidan O’Brien’s Kyprios, who last season won the Gold Cup, the Goodwood Cup and the Irish St Leger before a scarcely believable 20-length demolition job in the Cadran.

The five-year-old missed the first half of the current campaign through injury, but King feels there was plenty of promise on his comeback second to Eldar Eldarov in last month’s Irish Leger.

He added: “I thought he ran very well against a mile-and-six specialist the other day. That is Eldar Eldarov’s trip and I would have thought that was a very good comeback for him (Kyprios).”

Hollie Doyle has steered Trueshan to each of his three previous wins in the race is optimistic he can make it a four-timer on Saturday.

“He’s been such a great horse for everyone – for me, for Alan, for the owners and for the whole team at home. He never lets anyone down,” she said.

“He’s staged quite a comeback this year and proved a lot of people wrong by winning the Doncaster Cup and the Prix du Cadran again.

“A fourth win here would be incredible, but it could definitely happen as he feels as good as ever.”

O’Brien is confident Kyprios will take a big step forward from his Irish St Leger effort, telling Sky Sports Racing: “He was barely ready to go away for a racecourse gallop really, so we were delighted with the run and everything has gone smoothly since.

“He has an incredible capacity as a stayer. He’s able to go an unbelievable gallop and just keeps going. That was what happened in the Cadran last year – it just shows the kind of ability he has.”

Andrew Balding’s Coltrane was beaten a head by Trueshan 12 months ago, but failed to fire when a hot favourite to beat him in the Doncaster Cup last month.

Balding said: “Coltrane ran a hell of a race last year. It was a rare poor race (he ran) last time, and nothing came to light afterwards, but he’s entitled to run a poor one once in a while.”

John Gosden was forced to rule out his Gold Cup hero Courage Mon Ami earlier in the week but is nevertheless well represented, with Robert Havlin partnering Doncaster Cup runner-up Sweet William and Frankie Dettori aboard Trawlerman, winner of his last two starts.

“It looks like a good edition of the Long Distance Cup, in which Trawlerman and Sweet William are our runners, as Courage Mon Ami had a little niggle,” said Gosden.

“Trawlerman ran in the Long Distance Cup last year, finishing third, and he’s been an easy winner of both his races since he came back, at Salisbury and Newmarket. He’s in good form.”

O’Brien’s second-string Broome, the Willie Mullins-trained Stratum and Maxident from the Dominic Ffrench Davis yard complete the line-up.

Alan King will send at least three runners to Royal Ascot next week, with big gun Trueshan ready to fire in the Gold Cup, should there be sufficient cut in the ground.

With the current spell of hot weather expected to break down over the next few days, the Barbury Castle handler is “hopeful” the three-time Ascot Long Distance Cup winner can bounce back from a seven-length Sagaro defeat by Coltrane, who heads next Thursday’s showpiece event over two and a half miles.

The dual Group One winner Trueshan will be hoping to make it third time lucky in the race after being declared a non-runner in the last two renewals on account of unsuitable ground.

“We will have to hope for a few thunderstorms,” said King. “He needs to get his toe in, as we all know. It is an open Gold Cup and we’ll keep an eye on the weather and see what happens.”

Tritonic will try two and a half miles for the first time on the Flat when he lines up in the Ascot Stakes.

Runner-up in the 10-furlong Golden Gates in 2020, he subsequently won a juvenile hurdle and a Grade Three handicap hurdle at the Berkshire track.

He has only been out of the frame in once in four runs at Ascot, when fourth, beaten just over seven lengths by Quickthorn, in the heavy-ground Duke of Edinburgh in 2021.

King said: “Three will run at the meeting for us anyway.

“Tritonic will run in the Ascot Stakes. Whether he wants that trip I don’t know, but we thought we’d go that route and learn. If he ran there, you’d have to try to train him for a Cesarewitch or something.”

There is plenty of confidence behind eight-year-old Raymond Tusk, who would also appreciate some easy ground when he lines up in the Copper Horse Handicap, the final race on Tuesday’s card.

King said: “He ran in it last year. He was only beaten four lengths, finishing seventh.

“The old boy is in really good form. Obviously, we’d like a drop of rain for him, but it was fast last year and I hope he will run a really nice race again.”

HMS President had a string of runner-up efforts in decent handicaps last year for Eve Johnson Houghton.

Now with King, the HP Racing colours were carried to success on his second start for King, when taking a valuable handicap at Newmarket, having finished runner-up in the Rosebery at Kempton on his stable debut and seasonal bow.

“He’s shown he has been pretty consistent last year and is trip versatile,” said King. “It was nice to see him get his head in front at Newmarket.

“We have a small team, but we’re looking forward to the meeting, as always.”

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