The famous green and gold colors of JP McManus were carried to victory for the 4,000th time as Chantry House, the 5-6 favourite, stayed on strongly in the closing stages to win the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham.
The favorite’s jumping was a little sloppy at times but his win was still a significant improvement on his disappointing performance when favorite for the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day and confirms him as a likely runner in the Cheltenham Gold Cup on 18 March.
“Nothing gives me more pleasure than doing that and it’s lovely that it’s at Cheltenham, it’s not at Ballygobackwards,” Nicky Henderson, Chantry House’s trainer, said. “It’s here in a proper race at Cheltenham and well done JP, he’s been an amazing friend and supporter. JP sends me some seriously lovely horses, and my job is to try to get them here.”
Henderson was looking completed a double on the day as Champ, another runner in the McManus colors, set off as favorite for the Cleeve Hurdle but he could not reel in Paisley Park, the 2019 Stayers’ Hurdle winner, after the two horses were in the air together at the final flight.
Greg Wood’s Sunday tips
Sedgefield: 12.30 Bolintlea 1.00 Road Warrior (nb) 1.30 Gordon’s Jet 2.00 Heartbreak Kid 2.30 Hungry Tiger (nap) 3.00 Tanora 3.30 Stokes 4.00 Set In Stone
Fontwell Park: 1.20 American Gerry 1.50 Checkitout 2.20 En Coeur 2.50 Baby Ben 3.20 King Arise 3.50 Out The Glen 4.20 Saquon
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The 5-1 shot, whose owner, Andrew Gemmell, has been blind since birth, galloped on powerfully up the hill to record his first win since December 2020.
More to follow