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2023 Ascot Chase News - Key quotes from connections

17 Feb 2023
Ben Darvill 17 Feb 2023
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  • Key quotes from connections ahead of the 2023 Ascot Chase
  • Fakir D'Oudairies leads Shishkin and Pic D'Orhy in the betting
  • Read what Joseph O'Brien, Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls have had to say here
Ascot Chase Quotes From Connections
Trainers Paul Nicholls (L) and Nicky Henderson (R) during gallops ahead of the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival meeting at Newbury. (Getty)

Key quotes from the connections of the three leading contenders in this year's Ascot Chase.

ITV viewers are eagerly anticipating an excellent renewal of the Ascot Chase on Saturday. Fakir D'Oudairies travels over from Ireland to defend his crown. The defending champion faces stiff competition from Nicky Henderson's Shishkin and Paul Nicholls' Pic D'Orhy.

Read what the connections have had to say here...

Ascot Chase 2023 - Quotes From Connections

Joseph O'Brien speaks to Racing Post about Fakir D'Oudairies

"Fakir is in good nick and the plan is to run on Saturday. JJ will ride him. I know he has form on better ground but, ideally, I wouldn't mind a drop of rain for him at Ascot."

"I see nothing to suggest he's not as good as before. He's only eight and there's no reason to think he isn't as good as ever."

"He seems to be at his best in the spring and I'm hoping he'll peak again this spring like he's done in other seasons. That said, he seldom runs a bad race at any stage of the season. He's been really consistent over the years."

Nicky Henderson and Nico De Boinville discuss Shishkin via their blogs with Unibet

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De Boinville via Unibet - "Ascot have done all that they can with the ground in this dry spell, but maybe it will be a late call on his participation. I imagine plenty of others will be in the same boat, though it was good to hear the ground had eased a touch on Thursday morning. We are obviously very keen to get a run into him before Cheltenham as he needs to get a good, solid run on the board after his efforts in the Champion Chase and the Tingle Creek, though we found excuses for both of those runs on account of his bone issues and his soft palate respectively. He obviously won his point over 3m and took the Sidney Banks over 2m3f, so we think this trip could be what he needs now he has turned nine. One thing is for sure, and that he is the one to beat if back to anywhere near his brilliant best, though of course he has it to prove now, we realise that. And the opposition looks very strong too, with Fakir D’Oudairies and Pic D’Orhy in here, and Millers Bank is also not without a chance at his best."

Henderson - "This is obviously a very big day for him and we are stepping up in trip which is what I think he wants. Lots has already been said which doesn’t really need repeating over and over again so I’ll leave it to Shishkin to do the talking and see where we are at 3:45pm tomorrow!"

Paul Nicholls talking about Pic D'Orhy

“Pic D’Orhy has always had plenty of ability and he’s a little like Bravemansgame in that he’s massive and has just taken all this time to mature. He wasn’t jumping that well in his first season over fences but he’s been fantastic on that score this season. He’s the finished article now and hopefully will keep improving."

“It was one of his best performances at Kempton. We weren’t convinced about the soft ground – he’s much better on good ground – but he won well. This is the biggest race of his career but he’s up for it."

“If he’s going to compete in the Ryanair and at Aintree, he needs to be right in the mix. I’ve got a feeling he’ll go very well and he couldn’t be going into it in better form.”

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