Vintage Clouds ready for another assault on Haydock in the Tommy Whittle Chase

Trainer Sue Smith reports Vintage Clouds to be in fine fettle ahead of his return to Haydock Park on Saturday for the Virgin Bet Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase.

The 11-year-old grey won the Ultima Handicap Chase at last season's Cheltenham Festival - a race he had been placed in twice previously.

Vintage Clouds could finish only fifth of six runners on his seasonal reappearance at Kelso and was again down the field at Warwick last month, but Smith has been pleased with her stable stalwart since.

"He goes to Haydock. He seems in very good form with himself. He schooled on Wednesday morning and he jumped very well. We're looking forward to it," said the Bingley-based trainer.

"I hope the ground doesn't get any heavier, which I don't think it will."

Vintage Clouds has an excellent record at Haydock, with his three course victories including a dominant display in last year's Peter Marsh Chase.

In 12 previous visits to the Merseyside venue, the veteran has won or been placed on 10 occasions. He was third, albeit beaten a long way, in the Tommy Whittle in 2019.

"With a bit of luck all will be well. He's got a lot of weight, but he likes Haydock."

The likely favourite is David Pipe's Remastered, who was bang in contention when suffering a heavy fall four fences from home in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury three weeks ago.

"It was a horrible fall and he had a lot of treatment afterwards, but thankfully he came out of it in good order and this is the right race to go for," said Pipe.

"He can take a lead or make the running, he's versatile like that, so hopefully he can run well.

"The encouraging thing at Newbury was how he handled the better ground, but we know he handles soft."

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