Affaire set for Brush battle

Harry Whittington is hoping headgear and the return to handicap company will help Affaire D'Honneur in the Betfair Exchange "Fixed Brush" Handicap Hurdle at Haydock on Saturday.

Affaire D'Honneur: Intended runner at Haydock

The five-year-old posted two good efforts in prestigious handicaps last season, finishing fourth in both the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury and the Imperial Cup at Sandown Park, but has not replicated that form in two starts at Fontwell this season.

He made hard work of winning a five-runner novices' hurdles on October 1 and was a well-beaten fifth behind Movewiththetimes in a similar contest on October 19.

Whittington, based just to the north of Lambourn, said: "Affaire D'Honneur is an intended runner on Saturday providing Haydock gets a drop more rain.

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"I have been very happy with him since Fontwell. Those two runs have told us that he is not suited by a small field novice hurdle. Hopefully, coming back into a big-field handicap with a pair of cheekpieces will sharpen him up and help him travel better.

"He was dropped 5lb for his last run which gives us a chance if he comes back to the form he showed last season.

"It is worth stepping up in trip for a big pot like this. You can never be sure until they do it, but I don't see any reason why he won't stay. He relaxes well in his races and doesn't pull."

Affaire D'Honneur is a 16/1 chance with the sponsors' sportsbook.

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