Campeador tops Ascot weights
Gordon Elliott's Campeador has been handed top weight for the Wessex Youth Trust Handicap Hurdle at Ascot later this month.
Trainer Gordon Elliot: Has done well in Ascot's big December handicap hurdle in the past
The luckless grey was a faller at the last when looking set to play a leading role in the Fred Winter at Cheltenham in March and again came down at the final flight when seemingly booked for success in a hot handicap event at Fairyhouse last weekend.
The JP McManus-owned four-year-old has been given a stiff looking mark of 155 on his return to action in Britain on December 17, a full stone higher than his mark in the Fred Winter, and heads the weights with 11-12.
He is one of three entries for Elliott, who won the race twice in its former guise at The Ladbroke, and could be joined by novice Labaik and former Harry Fry representative Mick Jazz.
Other Irish trainers with entries are Edward Harty (Copy That), Noel Meade (Waxies Dargle) and Tony Martin, whose quartet of possibles is comprised of Pyromanic and Golden Spear – both owned by Newtown Anner Stud – as well as Voices Of Spring and Quick Jack.
Dan Skelton is another trainer with a strong hand and Meet The Legend has a favourable-looking weight of 10-9 having missed the Greatwood Hurdle – won by his stablemate North Hill Harvey – following an injury setback.
Nicky Henderson relies on Hargam (11-7) and recent Sandown one-two Brain Power (11-6) and Consul De Thaix (10-6), while Alan King could run impressive Newbury scorer Who Dares Wins (11-6) and Greatwood disappointment Winter Escape (10-11).