Bon Chic makes chasing debut

If the marketeers at Ascot were rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of welcoming current Gold Cup favourite, Vautour, to the Berkshire venue this Saturday. Champions Club members are similarly finding it difficult to hide their excitement with the imminent return of stable star Bon Chic.

Friday’s supporting card may not boost Cheltenham Championship race jollies but it marks the seasonal reappearance of the club’s favourite horse, Bon Chic. The six year-old, who put the Champions Club on the map last spring, when providing members with two unforgettable days in winning back to back races, makes her debut over fences in the Iron Stand Beginners’ Chase at 1:35pm.

Today’s race will be the mare’s toughest assignment to date as she mixes it with some highly rated sorts. Thomas Brown, trained by club handler Harry Fry, competed at both the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals and although he failed to cut much ice in Grade 1 company, he ended his novice hurdling campaign with a rating of 142.

El Namoose already has chasing experience under his belt having finished a fine second at Huntingdon three weeks ago and that performance duly earned him a rating of 142.

Trainer Dan Skelton is excited to have Bon Chic back on track but feels she may need the run and the ground will not be to her liking.

“She’s in good form and has schooled very well but she may just need this. She will definitely come on for the run. The ground won’t be ideal as she’s a far better mare on good ground but the ground is a lot better than what she would have faced at Wincanton. She needs to start somewhere and this is a good test. The race has cut up but there are some good sorts in here.”

Coral Senior Racing Trader, Jason Ryan, shares Skelton’s sentiments but is excited to see her return.

“Bon Chic makes her eagerly anticipated chasing debut at Ascot in what looks a hot contest despite only four runners.

We know from last season that she’s a better mare on better ground but she has schooled well and I’ve always been of the opinion that whatever she did over hurdles would be a bonus. She’s a very neat and nimble jumper of a fence and I’m excited to see her out again.”

Although this is a disappointing turnout with just four runners going to post, it may still prove an informative contest and more importantly the race presents the club with its first ever runner at a premier racetrack. Five lucky members and their guests will get to experience the thrill of racehorse ownership, rubbing shoulders with racing’s royalty at Ascot.

These are exciting times for the Coral Champions Club and it’s entirely fitting that Bon Chic, who has provided her followers with many memorable moments, now gets her opportunity in the one of the biggest arenas in jump racing.