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Easter Meteor given Ascot option on route to 2013 Byrne Group Plate

Jon Wilde in Thur. 16th March 15 Jan 2013
Salut Flo (right) ridden by Tom Scudamore on his way to winning the Byrne Group Plate at Cheltenham on March 15, 2012 (credit: Cheltenhampro.com)

Trainer Emma Lavelle could run her 2013 Cheltenham Festival hope Easter Meteor in the BetVictor.com Handicap Chase at Ascot on Saturday.

Lavelle is aiming the lightly-raced seven-year-old at the Byrne Group Plate on the Thursday of the 2013 Cheltenham Festival.

Easter Meteor has stamped himself as a highly progressive chaser in two runs this season, firstly when chasing home Nadiya De La Vega in a valuable Cheltenham handicap in October.

Then he made virtually all the running at Doncaster in December off a 4lb higher mark, scoring by four and a half lengths from Midnight Sail.

“The ground at Doncaster wasn’t ideal for him, it was much slower than he would have preferred and we just got away with it,” said Lavelle.

“I really wanted to get his head in front before we went looking at some of the better races again and what I really love about the horse is his jumping.

“The Byrne Group Plate at Cheltenham would look a logical target at this stage for him.”

The ground at Ascot on Saturday is currently soft, good to soft in places but could dry out during the week and frost covers will be deployed on Friday night over the whole course.

A strong entry of 23 horses has been received for the BetVictor.com Handicap Chase including Richard Rowe-trained Tatenen, who has won the race for the last two years.

Also among the possible runners are back-to-back winner Bless The Wings, trained by Alan King, and Venetia Williams duo Pepite Rose and Carrickboy.


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Easter Meteor given Ascot option on route to 2013 Byrne Group Plate

Trainer Emma Lavelle could run her 2013 Cheltenham Festival hope Easter Meteor in the BetVictor.com Handicap Chase at Ascot on Saturday.

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