Simply Ned heading back to Dublin

SIMPLY Ned, one of the North's top steeplechasers, will make a return trip to Ireland on his next start as he attempts to go one better than 12 months ago in the Paddy Power Cashcard Chase at Leopardstown.

Simply Ned, with Brian Harding on board, jump the final fence as they go on to win the TRM Excellence In Equine Nutrition Chase at Doncaster (Picture: John Giles/PA Wire).

After finding only Flemenstar too strong in the Grade One contest last year, trainer Nicky Richards will send the nine-year-old – the mount of evergreen veteran rider Brian Harding – back to the Dublin track on December 27.

Simply Ned has filled the runner-up slot on both starts this term, with his most recent second coming in last month’s Shloer Chase at Cheltenham when chasing home Fox Norton.

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Richards said: “It is the obvious race for Simply Ned to go for and he has run well in the race twice before.

“He has never run a bad race and I thought he ran a very good race at Cheltenham where he has probably bumped into a good young horse on the way up. It was no disgrace finishing second to him.”

Looking further ahead, the Greystoke handler is considering bypassing both Cheltenham and Aintree with Simply Ned in favour of two other end-of-season targets.

He added: “We are half-thinking of giving him a little holiday after Leopardstown and he might then just come back for the Spring to have a go at the Celebration Chase at Sandown.”

Yanworth is set to sidestep Saturday’s International Hurdle at Cheltenham and could instead contest the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton. The Alan King-trained six-year-old won his first four starts over obstacles last season before finding Yorkhill too strong at the Cheltenham Festival.

He made a successful reappearance in the Coral Hurdle at Ascot last month, after which a step up to three miles was considered.

However, he is now set to revert to two miles and with owner JP McManus ready to field My Tent Or Yours at Cheltenham this weekend, Yanworth is pencilled in for Kempton’s Boxing Day meeting.

British racing’s longest running commercial sponsorship has come to an end after Hennessy confirmed that it will no longer sponsor Newbury’s iconic handicap chase.

Last month’s renewal, won by Native River for trainer Colin Tizzard and jockey Richard Johnson, was the 60th and final renewal, with bookmaker Ladbrokes being tipped to fill the void.

A race synonymous with titans like Arkle, Burrough Hill Lad and Denman, notable Yorkshire successes came courtesy of Neville Crump’s Springbok (1962), Michael Dickinson’s Bregawn (1982), Jimmy Ftizgerald’s Galway Blaze (1985) and Sibton Abbey (1992) for Ferdy Murphy.

Top class hurdler Champers On Ice made a winning novice chase debut at Uttoxeter for trainer David Pipe and jockey Tom Scudamore. He is 33-1 for the RSA Chase.