Racing: Punters rally to Raleagh Native

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The Independent Online
RALEAGH NATIVE was among those shortened in the betting yesterday for Saturday's First National Bank Chase as the Ascot turf continued to dry out.

Kim Bailey's lightly-raced ex-Irish point-to-pointer looked a useful recruit to chasing when winning at Market Rasen a year ago, when trained by Charlie Brooks. The five-year-old limbered up for Saturday with a 19- length win in a novice hurdle at Worcester four weeks ago. He is 7-1, from 10-1, with William Hill.

The chase track at Ascot was officially described yesterday as ''Good, Good to Soft in places''. With no significant rain forecast before the weekend, the going could turn out to be unsuitable for mud-lovers.

Dontleavethenest is now Hills' 5-2 favourite. Trained in Carshalton, Surrey, by Roger Curtis, the eight-year-old beat his Epsom-trained rival, Chief's Song, by three lengths at Ascot three weeks ago.

Listen Timmy is due to make his seasonal debut in the Ascot race. Steve Brookshaw's gelding won three novice chases at Uttoxeter last season. Brookshaw said: "He's done alright over the summer but we would have liked to have got a race into him. He'll come on for the run. He's won on soft going and would not want it too fast."