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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Elliott upbeat on Carlito claimsHeadlines
Carlito Brigante

Gordon Elliott feels Carlito Brigante's previous experience of Cheltenham will stand him in good stead when he tackles the Pulteney Land Investments Novices' Handicap Chase at the Festival.

Winner of the Coral Cup in 2011, he also scored over fences there earlier this season as well as running well behind Dynaste in November.

Due to the very wet winter and his preference for good ground, the seven-year-old has been limited to one all-weather start at Dundalk, but Elliott believes he is capable of running a big race.

"We're very happy with him and he's had two very good runs at Cheltenham this year," Elliott told At The Races.

"Obviously ground is the key to him, there has to be good in it and he likes Cheltenham. The plan has been the novice handicap chase, we'll put cheek pieces on him, he's in good form and we're looking forward to it.

"We sent him there (Cheltenham) earlier in the season for experience and he ran a very good race against Dynaste and was upsides at the second last, but we didn't knock him around when it was obvious he would be beat.

"He's got loads of experience round there, which is important, and he seems to like it.

"We sent him to Dundalk to wake him up a bit as he's a bit of an old pet around the place now so we just wanted to open him up.

"We had him as a three-year-old. He's a Cheltenham winner so if he never did another thing he wouldn't owe us anything, but I'll be surprised if he's not in the money."

Carlito Brigante is the general 8-1 favourite for the race on March 12.

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