Friday, December 9, 2011

Gauvain Peterborough win enhances Cheltenham claims

Nick Williams proved his decision to turn Gauvain out again only five days after taking a crashing fall to be exactly right as the talented performer put in a career best effort to lower the colours of hot favourite Somersby in the Grade 2 Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon on Thursday, in the process doing plenty to advertise his prospects for honours at the Cheltenham Festival in March, writes Elliot Slater.

Gauvain, who had never before won beyond the minimum trip, had been in contention in the Grade 1 Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown the previous Saturday when taking a heavy tumble at the eighth fence and his presence in the line-up for the Huntingdon contest came as a surprise to many observers. Williams however was thoroughly satisfied that the nine-year-old was none the worse for his mishap and he proved fully vindicated as the German-bred jumped well throughout before taking up the running at the third from home. Those looking at the latest Cheltenham odds will have been impressed.

Asked to quicken before the home turn by Noel Fehily, Gauvain soon put daylight between himself and the rest of the field, and though Somersby stayed-on to take second he never appeared likely to rein in the winner who had done enough to score by an impressive four-and-a-half-lengths.

Undoubtedly Gauvain's task had been made easier by the surprise fifth fence departure of The Nightingale, but there was little doubt that the son of Sternkoenig saw the extended two-and-a-half mile trip out very well in the soft ground and he consequently appears to have the option of tackling the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in the spring (for which he is now generally on offer at 14/1), or going for the Queen Mother Champion Chase, for which he was cut from 33/1 to as short as 14/1 with some firms following his Peterborough Chase success.

No comments:

Post a Comment