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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Katenko stamps his classHeadlines
Katenko lands the Murphy Group Chase on Trials Day

Katenko continued his rapid progression through the ranks with a most impressive success in the Murphy Group Chase at Cheltenham.

The Venetia Williams-trained seven-year-old won by nine lengths at Sandown earlier in the month and this time recorded a 12-length victory over Fruity O'Rooney, jumping well all the way.

Long-time leader Our Mick was still firmly in contention three out but veered left at the fence and crashed into the winner before throwing Jason Maguire to the ground.

The race, won last year by subsequent Gold Cup runner-up The Giant Bolster, was over as a contest from there, with the 4-1 favourite showing no sign of stopping up the hill.

Williams said: "He's very exciting. We brought him here going back in trip from Sandown, but you need to get every yard of three miles to be effective in this sort of (heavy) ground.

"All options are open for us now. The Gold Cup is obviously a very attractive option, but the ground is fairly relevant.

"He doesn't have to have this sort of ground, but he needs it on the soft side of good and he will also have an entry in the National."

Owner Andy Brooks said: "To win by 12 lengths against those sort of horses is an incredible performance. I'd love to run in the Gold Cup, but it is up to the trainer."

Katenko holds a Gold Cup entry and was cut to 33-1 from 50-1 for the blue riband by Paddy Power.

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