14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Argocat on Jewson prowlHeadlines

Tom Taaffe is favouring a crack at the Jewson Novices' Chase with Argocat after giving his runner a clutch of Cheltenham Festival entries.

The handler has entered his Limerick Grade Two winner in the two-and-a-half-mile heat, as well as the three-mile RSA Chase and two-mile Racing Post Arkle Trophy.

However, after winning over an extended two miles and three furlongs over Christmas, Taaffe believes the Jewson offer the best chance of Festival glory.

He said: "The preference for Argocat at the moment is the Jewson over two and a half miles. He won't run again before Cheltenham but he has been in super form since his win at Limerick. He had a mid-term break and is back in full swing now.

"He did what he had to do at Limerick and was in receipt of the four-year-old weight allowance. He is progressive and has done nothing but please us since he has gone over fences.

"I started schooling him in April last year and he jumped so well that I said that we are better off going over fences than sticking to hurdles. Better ground will definitely help him a lot and that's why I have entered him in the two other races."

Argocat is one of 65 entries for the Jewson, which is run on March 14. Nicky Henderson has entered Grade One winner Captain Conan, but he could have other Festival targets in mind, while the same can be said of David Pipe's leading RSA Chase hope Dynaste.

Willie Mullins won the race last year and he has 11 to choose from this time, including Arkle hope Arvika Ligeonnaire, former Festival winner Mikael D'Haguenet and Boston Bob.

David Pipe and Henderson each have five contenders, including Goulanes and Buddy Bolero for Pipe. Paul Nicholls has three horses engaged, including Fago and Sire Collonges.

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