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Ascot Chase: Dashel Drasher bids to defend their title following the exemplary Fleur of Lys Chase race at Lingfield,

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Dashel Drasher came in just short of Two For Gold and ahead of Bristol De Mai at Lingfield, and Trainer Jeremy Scott has suggested that his stable’s star will return to Berkshire as a chance to keep the Ascot Chase crown in Grade One action.

The Jeremy Scott’s Dashel Drasher is set for a rematch of the Betfair Ascot Chase title after an impressive performance in the loss in Lingfield in the Sunday race.

The nine-year-old took the win his first race of the year at Newbury in December’s final days and then switched to hurdles and winning in the hands of Rex Dingle and tee himself ready for a chance for the Lingfield Winter Million meeting.

The win was enough to leave Scott contemplating a return race over the lesser obstacles in the critical event, but Scott ultimately chose to go for the Fleur De Lys Chase, and his horse was a 4-to-4 favorite.

In a tight final, Kim Bailey’s Two For Gold prevailed, beating Dashel Drasher by one head. Bristol Delaware Mai finished three-quarters of the size behind in third.

“He came out of it very well. I was concerned he would have a hard race, and I’m sure he did have a hard race, but he’s bounced out of it well, so hopefully, we’re all on track for Ascot,” Scott said. Scott.

“It looked as if he’d thought he’d accomplished enough to get beyond his mare (Two For Gold), but the line got too fast, and he heads back.

“In fairness, it is probably the most challenging race he’s ever run in terms of having to sprint from behind and stand.

“It was great to see he was identified to do that. It was only which our timing was somewhat off.”

Dashel Drasher’s association with Dingle is relatively new as Dingle was the leading rider for Matt Griffiths. Since October, the latter has been off and is currently trying to heal after suffering severe injuries from a car crash.

Dingle’s connection to the bay is growing with age, and Scott believes that winning over the hurdles was key to establishing the relationship between rider and horse.

Dashel Drasher returned to winning ways over hurdles at Newbury in December

“He is a horse you want to get to know. The more he (Dingle) trips him, the better he’ll get moving forward, and that’s surely a significant thing,” Dingle said.

“Rex is undoubtedly building the foundation of a partnership, and I think that’s why the hurdle race proved so helpful.

“He got out and got an actual feel for the horse minus the complication offenses.”

The nine-year-old took the Grade One Ascot Chase in 2021. It was his third straight win at a track he prefers over any other.

Two For Gold battles past Dashel Drasher and Bristol De Mai to win the Fleur De Lys Chase at Lingfield’s Winter Million festival

In describing his love for the track, Scott said: “It seems to be a good fit. I think it’s because it’s a simple course, whereas, at Lingfield, there’s a lot of in and out.

“We learn how to journey him at Ascot, and that helps. You know where you stand with him at various places on the track.”

Race fans have noticed Dashel Drasher’s tireless efforts. The gelding appeared to have garnered admiration as high for his performance that was beaten on Lingfield as he did any of his winning performances.

“He seems to have become quite a popular horse, which is lovely,” Scott said. Scott.

“He’s got quite a following, and people like his attitude.”

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