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Horse Racing: Fakir D'Oudairies set for Ascot acid test

Fakir D'Oudairies is scheduled to be a rare Irish runner in the Betfair Ascot Chase at Ascot on Saturday where he will be trainer Joseph O'Brien's first runner at the track over jumps.

The seven-year-old has been placed at the last three Cheltenham Festivals and is taking in the 2m41/2f contest on his way back to Gloucestershire for another crack at the Ryanair Chase.

Owned by JP McManus, Fakir D'oudairies finished second to Allaho in the Ryanair a year ago and has filled the same spot behind his old adversary twice this season, most recently in a Grade 2 at Thurles.

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Thankfully there will be no Allaho lying in wait this time for O'Brien's hope who gave the trainer his only British win over fences to date when landing the Grade 1 Marsh Chase at Aintree last April.

O'Brien explains Fakir D'Oudairies plan

O'Brien said: "It's great to be taking part over there and great that we have a horse of this calibre that we can go to a race like this with a live chance and it'd be very special if we can manage to win it. It looks a good opportunity for him to be competitive in Grade 1 company."

Fakir D'Oudairies is a 5/1 chance for this weekend's contest and O'Brien added: "He was obviously beaten well by Allaho last time but I thought it was a good run. He made a bad mistake early and ran home well. It was a good run at Punchestown in a very strong race. Whether you'd miss the Ryanair and go straight to Aintree or whether you'd run in both would probably depend on how the horse is training after Ascot but those are the logical races for him after here."

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