Five things to note for the week ahead
Politologue: could have second start over fences on Friday
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) Red hot pair to clash in Becher belter
By David Baxter 1:02PM 28 NOV 2016
Will the Tizzard and Elliott bandwagons roll on?
The famous Aintree fences will be in use for the first time this season on Saturday, as hopefuls for the Randox Health-sponsored showpiece will participate in the Betfred Becher Chase.
Colin Tizzard and Gordon Elliott are enjoying scintillating seasons, and they are both set to have runners in the 3m2f Grade 3, with Tizzard confirming Viconte Du Noyer will line up, while Ucello Conti will represent Elliott.
Can Sire De Grugy follow up in Tingle Creek?
Last season's Tingle Creek winner Sire De Grugy looked as good as ever when giving away lumps of weight in a valuable handicap at Ascot last time, and Gary Moore's stable star will bid to defend his crown in the Betfair-backed Grade 1 on Saturday.
Potentially the biggest danger could come from within Moore's yard, as he may use the race as a return point for the exciting Ar Mad.
Eyes down for Exeter
There is a potentially tasty aperitif on Friday before the weekend's main course of action, with Paul Nicholls entering the exciting duo of Frodon and Politologue in a novices' chase.
Frodon found the BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham too hot, but had won his three previous starts over fences, while Politologue impressed on his chase debut at Haydock earlier in the month.
But this could be a tough race, with The New One in contention to make his chasing bow.
How will James Doyle fare in Australia?
James Doyle is stepping into the breach for employers Godolphin by riding in Australia this winter, and he is set to have his first spin at Canterbury on Wednesday aboard Miami Dade.
Having lost his role as first rider for Saeed Bin Suroor, Doyle has been parachuted in to ride for John O'Shea. Regular rider James McDonald, who rode with great success in Britain this summer, has stood himself down after it emerged that he may be at the centre of a potential betting scandal.
Which Mullins stars will grace Fairyhouse?
Last weekend Gordon Elliott had 11 runners in the Troytown Chase, and Willie Mullins would surpass that if leaving in all 12 entries for Sunday's Bar One Racing Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse.
While it is highly unlikely Ireland's champion trainer will keep all of his squadron engaged in the Grade 1, racegoers could see one of, or both, of the last two Champion Hurdle winners with Annie Power and Faugheen among the entries.
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