Now dropped back in class against her own sex, La Bague Au Roi is strongly fancied to get back to winning ways in the Listed 2m 4f Yorkshire Silver Vase Mares’ Chase at Doncaster on Sunday (13:35).
This Warren Greatrex trained eight-year-old developed into one of the best novice chasers around last season when winning four of her five starts.
After bearing the very smart Lostintranslation on debut over the larger obstacles at Newbury, the daughter of Doctor Dino easily accounted for Talkischeap by seven lengths in a Grade 2 at the same venue.
A Grade 1 success then followed at Kempton, where La Bague Au Roi beat subsequent RSA winner Topofthegame in game fashion by 1 1/2 lengths.
She then followed-up in the Flogas at Leopardstown, before finding only Kalashnikov too strong when a 1 1/2 lengths runner-up in the Manifesto at Aintree.
La Bague Au Roi looked destined for great things this season judged on those efforts, but ran no sort of race on return to action when pulled-up in the Grade 2 Charlie Hall at Wetherby.
That run was too bad to be true. La Bague Au Roi has since put in a much improved effort when a keeping on 3 1/4 lengths third to Top Notch in the Grade 2 Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon.
The Yorkshire Silver Vase represents a big drop in class and the easiest task she has faced for some time.
La Bague Au Roi’s form is also head and shoulders above anything her seven rivals have achieved.
So, granted a clear round, this looks a lovely opening for her to notch a fifth success over fences. La Bague Au Roi can be backed at 3/1 with Bethard to do just that.
Lady Buttons out to enhance fine course record
The Phil Kirby trained Lady Buttons is a really likeable type who has won three of her four starts at the venue, so is feared most in a terrific renewal of the Yorkshire Silver Vase.
This nine-year-old daughter of Beneficial is a top class hurdler and chaser who has won four of her six starts over the larger obstacles.
The last of those successes came 12 months ago in this where she powered clear to easily beat Rene’s Girl by 3 3/4 lengths.
Lady Buttons went on to to follow-up in a Grade 2 hurdles contest here, before finishing a fine fourth in the Grade 1 Mares’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
She went on to round off the campaign in the Grade 3 Red Rum Handicap Chase at Aintree when a 10-length runner-up to Moon Over Germany.
Lady Buttons was giving 10lb to the winner, so it was a fine effort.
As she looked as good as ever on return to action when landing a Listed hurdles contest at Wetherby, Lady Buttons was then pitched in at the highest level.
She was far from disgraced when fourth in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle and this represents a return to much calmer waters.
Lady Buttons is just as effective over fences as hurdles, and is a strong travelling sort ideally suited by a fast run race.
Kirby’s stable is on a 20 per cent strike rate in the last 14 days at the time of writing.
So, with a strong pace assured, Lady Buttons is 3/1 with SportNation and looks the one most likely to take advantage should La Bague Au Roi fail to live up to expectations.
Casablanca firmly in the Yorkshire Silver Vase Mix too
Casablanca Mix has won her last three starts and is the highest rated in the line-up, so is another with leading claims.
Trained by the in-form Nicky Henderson, who is operating at a strike rate of just under 29 per cent in the last 14 days at the time of writing, this seven-year-old was successful at this level back in July.
Casablanca Mix stayed on strongly to land the valuable Summer Plate Handicap Chase at Market Rasen by eight lengths from Royal Village.
She has since followed-up on seasonal reappearance in another Listed affair at Aintree where, after racing on and off the bridle in the early stages, she drew clear to easily beat Holy Flight by 15 lengths.
Casablanca Mix is clearly going the right way and is a sound jumper who stays strongly and finds plenty of pressure.
Those attributes command her the utmost respect in any line-up and she has proven form over the trip and handles the forecast underfoot conditions.
Nico De Boinville also gets great tune out of Casablanca Mix, so she looks to have plenty going for her in this.
A bold bid to land the four-timer looks assured and Casablanca Mix is also a 3/1 shot with William Hill to go in again in the Yorkshire Silver Vase.