Fine Rightly has Rowland option

Stuart Crawford has not ruled out Fine Rightly running in the 188Bet Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase at Wetherby on Boxing Day but the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown looks a more likely option.

Harry Topper could reappear at Wetherby

The eight-year-old has won nine of his 20 starts to date and finished third in the Irish Gold Cup last season and he shaped well over an inadequate trip behind Douvan last time out.

"Fine Rightly is also entered in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown on December 28 and that is probably the most likely option for him at this stage," said Crawford.

"We gave him the entry at Wetherby to give us another option as there are not many other races for him over Christmas.

"I will have a good look at the entries for both races and come to a decision. He has won a novices' hurdle at Wetherby so we know he acts on the track and we haven't ruled out coming over."

Harry Topper is likely to make his comeback at Wetherby, however.

Kim Bailey is leaning more towards that race than the Coral Welsh Grand National at Chepstow on Tuesday as he feels that would be a more difficult task on his return.

Harry Topper, whose last race came in February 2015, enjoyed his finest hour at Wetherby when winning the Charlie Hall Chase there in November 2013.

"He wants very soft ground. There's rain forecast over the next few days so the softer the better," Bailey told At The Races.

"He hasn't run for an awful long time and it's a big ask to go first time out for the Welsh National and think you've got a chance of winning it.

"With the Rowland Meyrick we might have a good chance of winning it if it cuts up."

One horse on target for the race is Brian Ellison's Definitly Red.

The seven-year-old, one of 23 entries for three-mile contest, was beaten four and a half lengths into third by Otago Trail and Bristol De Mai on his latest start in the Listed Rehearsal Handicap Chase at Newcastle on November 26.

He already has experience over fences at Wetherby having finished second, beaten eight lengths, to subsequent RSA Chase hero Blaklion (Nigel Twiston-Davies) on heavy going in the three-mile Towton Novices' Chase in February.

North Yorkshire-based Ellison said: "Definitly Red worked and schooled this morning and, at this moment in time, is an intended runner at Wetherby. He has been in really good form and I have been very happy with his preparation.

"Brian [Hughes, jockey] said he wasn't enjoying the ground at Newcastle. It was dead and tacky, and so Brian decided to take him wide all the way to try and find better ground. It was probably a bit of a disadvantage but he still ran well and the handicapper dropped him a pound.

"Definitly Red is not slow and is very effective at two and a half miles, but you can't say he didn't stay at Newcastle because he went wide on testing ground and was still there at the finish. I think two miles and six furlongs is probably his absolute optimum."

Definitly Red has been allocated 11st, with Blaklion the top-weight with 11st 12lb

Read More at Sporting Life

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