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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Fago lives up to billing on UK bowHeadlines
Ruby Walsh and Fago on their way to victory at Newbury

Paul Nicholls' French import Fago made an impressive British debut in the Betfred Double Delight Novices' Chase at Newbury.

Although seen to good effect over longer distances in France, Graham Wylie's purchase was dropped down to two miles and a furlong here and is considered a prospect for the Arkle Trophy.

Sent off a well-backed 5-4 favourite, the dark-coloured gelding was slick over his fences and pushed out by Ruby Walsh to finish three and a half lengths clear of Ohio Gold.

Nicholls' assistant, Dan Skelton, said: "We haven't had him long and he jumped much better than you might expect for a horse that we thought could find improvement from what we've seen at home. He has done all his schooling in the school, as the weather has meant he could not go outside. He'll be entered in the Arkle and the obvious step up would be the Kingmaker at Warwick, although that's not set in stone."

Andrew Balding is a fleeting presence on the jumping scene at the moment but Chiberta King's third attempt resulted in a wide-margin victory in the Betfred "The Bonus King" Novices' Hurdle.

Balding said of the Paddy Brennan-ridden 8-1 chance: "He is my string. We have had some good ones in the past, like Scorned, Briareus and Distant Prospect, but I think I only had a bumper winner last year. This horse was Group-placed on the Flat but he was finding it hard to win. The main thing was to run him left-handed and get him to jump straight. I know he has plenty of experience but I would think Cheltenham will come a year too soon."

The Flat trainers' trend continued into the Betfred Goals Galore Handicap Chase with Mick Channon's Loch Ba.

The gelding was effectively still giving Henrietta Knight back-to-back victories in the Harwell Trophy following Glens Boy a year ago, as she used to train Loch Ba and is still deeply involved with the yard of her near-neighbour Channon. Loch Ba (8-1) was far too strong for his nearest rival, the 4-1 favourite Mountainous, and came eight lengths away.

"I didn't think he did anything wrong when he was second at Ascot last time. He didn't put a foot wrong here and he jumped great," said Channon, who deferred race plans to Knight.

She said: "I think he might go for one of the three-mile handicap chases at Cheltenham."

11 February 2016

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Mags Mullins sets sights on Cheltenham Festival with Thurles winner Ballychorus
Ma Du Fou cashes in with Banks success at Huntingdon
Willie Mullins considering Punchestown test for Annie Power
Tom George issues ground warning ahead of God's Own Kempton spin
Tom George earmarks Doncaster prep for Grand National hope Saint Are
Willie Mullins set to chart direct Cheltenham route with Annie Power
Tracey Collins joy at Captain comeback at Dundalk
Jonjo O'Neill swerves Newbury with More Of That
Blazer features in five-pronged Willie Mullins Newbury raid
Uttoxeter makes early call to abandon Saturday fixture
Ruby Walsh left deflated by Killultagh Vic injury
Bangor Friday card declared a washout
JLT favourite Killultagh Vic ruled out of Cheltenham Festival
Weekend workout planned ahead of Ascot 'option' for Flemenstar
Triumph Hurdle contender Fixe Le Kap heading for Victor Ludorum at Haydock
Kim Bailey has Supreme thoughts for Charbel
North Hill Harvey bids to secure Cheltenham ticket at Huntingdon
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Peace And Co undergoes 'straightforward' respiratory procedure
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Paul Nicholls flat out to prove Aux Ptits Soins Cheltenham fitness

10 February 2016

Subtle Grey has Donald McCain smiling at Carlisle
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Revised Uttoxeter programme a doubt on Saturday
Bangor 'relatively pessimistic' about Friday fixture
Oliver Sherwood sets Rayvin Black Wincanton target
Brian Ellison outlines Cheltenham plans for 'monster' Small Talk
Carlisle meeting given go-ahead
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Paul Nicholls - Cheltenham domination for Willie Mullins would take title
Micky Hammond not afraid of Champion Chase challenge with Just Cameron
Dan Skelton thinking of Fred Winter for Market Rasen winner Kasakh Noir
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Victoria Pendleton mount Pacha Du Polder could go straight to Cheltenham
Paul Nicholls hands Silviniaco Conti Ascot Chase mission
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Kingmaker crucial in L'Ami Serge progression to Cheltenham

9 February 2016

Robbie in the care of jumping great Mary Reveley
Waterlogging beats Ludlow and Taunton
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Taunton Thursday fixture abandoned
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Colin Tizzard outlines Gold Cup hopes for Thistlecrack
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8 February 2016

Day to remember for jockey William Featherstone at Fakenham
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Limerick forced to call off early
Colin Bowe planning Festival prep for National Hunt Chase hope Shantou Flyer
Taunton call inspection for Thursday card
Joseph Tuite puts Yorkshire Cup on Litigant agenda
Paul Nicholls identifies Pendil target for As De Mee
Dean Ivory praise for Chelmsford star Kadrizzi
Nicky Henderson gunning for Cheltenham with Musselburgh winner O O Seven
Noel Meade still sweet on Cheltenham Gold Cup with Road To Riches
Nicky Henderson plans to assess Peace And Co
Gitane Du Berlais stamps class on Listed heat at Naas

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