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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Hobbs has grounds for optimismHeadlines
Captain Chris

Philip Hobbs feels Captain Chris will prove well able to adapt to the testing ground when he goes for glory in the Betfair Ascot Chase.

The nine-year-old handled conditions well enough to win the Amlin 1965 Chase at the Berkshire course in November, and then ran a tremendous race in the King George VI Chase at Kempton when he was only beaten a neck by Long Run.

"Ideally he wants better ground, but he won the Amlin on heavy. He seems in great form and he was always going to have a few weeks off after the King George," said the trainer.

"You can always supplement for the Ryanair, but the Gold Cup has always been the plan and we want to keep our horses apart. He ran a fantastic race at Kempton and is in very good form. He always had a tendency to jump right, so it shouldn't matter too much at Ascot."

Finian's Rainbow has something to prove after finishing a well-beaten last of four behind Captain Chris on his seasonal reappearance. Last year's Queen Mother Champion Chase hero has had a wind operation since then and needs a run.

"We've always said we don't want to run him on soft ground, but we haven't got a choice and there's nowhere else to go," said trainer Nicky Henderson.

"I'd have loved to have had another week, but I want to give him a run and we will be able to decide about Cheltenham after Saturday."

Colin Tizzard expects Cue Card's performance will tell him which race to go for at Cheltenham, the Ryanair Chase or the Queen Mother Champion Chase. The seven-year-old has to put behind him a disappointing display in the King George, when he failed to last out the three miles.

The trainer said: "This is a race we planned from Christmas to take in before Cheltenham. He didn't get three miles on heavy ground on Boxing Day. Whether he'll get three miles another day there, I don't know.

"Our view is if he's going to run in the Ryanair he needs to nearly win this. If he doesn't stay he can go back and take on Sprinter Sacre in the Champion Chase. We will keep the options open to the end, but Ascot should show us which way we are going to go at Cheltenham."

7 December 2016

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Cole Harden pointed towards return to three miles
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Clondaw Warrior drops in class for Clonmel return
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Tony Martin in no rush to map out Heartbreak City hurdles campaign
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Yanworth set to swerve International date in favour of Christmas challenge
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Newbury confirm Hennessy sponsorship to end
Simply Ned on course for repeat Leopardstown bid
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6 December 2016

Jim Best case result to be announced on Monday
Sir Anthony McCoy would split up Tizzard aces at Kempton
Joseph O'Brien biding his time with Landofhopeandglory
County Hurdle runner-up Fethard Player in line for back-end campaign
Neil Mulholland still has Festival plan for Shantou Village
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Newly-crowned champion Jim Crowley gallops away with jockey award
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James Moffatt hoping Highland Lodge effort will secure National date
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5 December 2016

Aidan O'Brien claims Flat prize at HRI Awards
Uttoxeter forced to check due to threat of frost
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The Last Samuri to tread a familiar path back to Aintree
Peter Maher takes double aim at Cross Country Chase
Ludlow frozen off
Oscar-winning performance delights Fergal O'Brien
Eddie Harty has long-term dreams for Coney Island after Drinmore glory
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Prolific Airlie Beach bags Grade One glory in Royal Bond
Ar Mad in line to be supplemented for the King George at Kempton
Landofhopeandglory still unbeaten over hurdles after Fairyhouse battle
Ballyandy providing Nigel Twiston-Davies with campaign quandary
Yanworth enters International and Christmas reckoning

4 December 2016

Gordon Elliottt eyeing Leopardstown outing for Ucello Conti
Stuart Edmunds eyeing Ascot compensation for Wolf Of Windlesham
Ludlow call precautionary check
Kelso gets the go-ahead
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Un De Sceaux just betters Sire De Grugy in Tingle Creek epic
National hero Many Clouds back in business at Aintree
Kempton the next stop as Altior bandwagon gathers pace at Sandown
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Cole Harden second on fencing debut as Its'afreebee comes out on top
Unbeaten Airlie Beach seeking Grade One gold in Royal Bond
Vroum Vroum Mag revved up for Hatton's Grace at Fairyhouse
Mouse Morris gives Alpha Des Obeaux a squeak in Fairyhouse Grade One

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