Asador proved good enough to score on his fencing debut following a lay-off of 628 days when taking the novices' chase at Newton Abbot yesterday for the Paul Nicholls and Timmy Murphy combination.
An expensive purchase from France, Asador broke down in the 2000 Triumph Hurdle and had not been seen since. But he bounced back to something like his best to beat Sayeh by 28 lengths after his two closest pursuers, Reiziger and Master Tern, came down after the final fence.
Coral, the bookmakers, reported backing yesterday for Bacchanal for the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day and Bacchanal is now 6-1 from 8-1 for the three-mile contest. Nicky Henderson's top novice of last season is due to reappear in the Future Stars Chase at Sandown Park on Friday.
Following Monday's announcement that Best Mate would head straight for the King George, the Tote have priced up the race with Best Mate as 5-2 second favourite.
KING GEORGE VI CHASE:
Latest odds from Coral: 5-4 First Gold, 11-4 Best Mate, 6-1 Bacchanal, 10-1 Sackville, 12-1 Ad Hoc, Florida Pearl, 14-1 Lord Noelie, 16-1 others. The Tote: 6-4 First Gold, 5-2 Best Mate, 7-1 Bacchanal, 12-1 Florida Pearl, 14-1 Ad Hoc, 16-1 See More Business, 20-1 others.