Boxing Day preview: Wakanda out to spoil Baywing's chances at Wetherby

NICKY Richards hopes course form will pay off when Baywing returns to the scene of his biggest triumph for today's feature Rowland Meyrick Chase at Wetherby.

Jockey Sam Twiston-Davies (right), who finished second, is shot from the saddle on Fago as he challenges eventual winner Wakanda and Danny Cook at the final fence in the bet 365 Handicap Chase during the bet365 Charlie Hall Meeting at Wetherby Racecourse. (Picture: John Giles/PA Wire)

Victorious in the Grade Two Towton Novices Chase in February, connections opted for this contest after the mudlark fell at Haydock last time out.

“I’m not sure whether he landed in the deep ground and couldn’t get his feet out, but he parted company anyway and that was the end of his race,” said Cumbria-based Richards.

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“We had planned to run him there and then go for this race or the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown, but we didn’t want to go to Ireland on the back of that fall.

“He was a good winner around Wetherby in the Towton last season and the handicapper gave him a fair old whack afterwards. It was still nice to win a G2 with him and I think that he is a decent horse.

“I hope that there is a bit of rain as Baywing can’t have it too soft – any rain would be a massive plus for him.”

Regular rider Ryan Day is in the saddle, buoyed by his winning ride on the Richards-trained Guitar Pete at Cheltenham 10 days ago.

Yorkshire hopes rest with Sue Smith’s Wakanda, runner up 12 months ago to Definitly Red, and the progressive Delusionofgrandeur.

Meanwhile, James Reveley, the reigning French champion jockey, makes the trip back to his home county to ride Shantou Flyer.