All eyes will be on the Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase at Wetherby on December 26th as 2013 Grand National winner, Auroras Encore, hopes to make his seasonal return to competitive action.
The Sue Smith trained 11-year-old, is set to compete in the £40,000 William Hill sponsored event which is run over three miles, one furlong and is the highlight of course’s two-day Winter Festival.
Auroras Encore, now famously a 66/1 Grand National Winner, has been out of the racing picture since pulling up in the Scottish Grand National at Ayr in April, just 14 days after his Aintree victory.
Trainer Smith has said: “All being well, Auroras Encore will start off in the William Hill Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase.
“We had hoped to have him out earlier, but the ground went against us so we just left him be.
“He is in very good form at the moment though, but it will be his first run of the season and it’s difficult to know what to expect.”
Run on the same day as another seasonal highlight, the King George VI Chase at Kempton, it is set to be an incredible day of racing when we can also expect to see the likes of Al Ferof, Cue Card, Captain Chris, Champion Court and the Willie Mullins 2014 Grand National hopeful, Prince De Beauchene, all in action.
Hot on the heels of all the Boxing Day racing action, comes the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown on December 27th, a hugely successful race that currently has 65 entries including the Welsh National hopefuls Goonyella and Sydney Paget.