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.

Harry Fry has his eyes fixed on two of Newbury’s biggest prizes of the season with Boothill and Altobelli on Saturday.

Two-mile chaser Boothill is set for a clash with Edwardstone, Editeur Du Gite and dual winner Funambule Sivola in the Betfair Exchange Game Spirit Chase.

Boothill won twice at Ascot early in the season, missed the Tingle Creek due to the heavy ground and was a faller last time out in the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton.

“We are looking forward to running Boothill on Saturday in the Betfair Game Spirit Chase at Newbury,” said Fry.

“He was last seen at Kempton where he fell at Christmas, but thankfully he was none the worse for that fall and we are hoping he can put that firmly behind him on Saturday.”

Altobelli, a second-season hurdler, has been placed in two big-field handicaps at Ascot, first when second to Dan Skelton’s Knickerbocker Glory and then when third to Luccia in the Betfair Exchange Trophy and he is chasing more of the sponsor’s money this weekend.

“Altobelli is all set to run in the Betfair Hurdle having run well in two competitive handicap hurdles at Ascot so far this season,” said Fry.

“The experience of those races won’t be lost on him and, with hopefully slightly slower underfoot conditions, that can only play to his strengths and he can be competitive, all being well on Saturday.”

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