Saturday 20 January 2018

Walsh hoping for a Champagne moment

Champagne Fever
Champagne Fever

Ruby Walsh believes Champagne Fever's course form will be an asset when he lines-up at the Cheltenham Festival.

The Willie Mullins-trained grey has won twice and finished second in three visits to the meeting.

He currently has three entries with the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase seen as the most likely option.

If he does drop down to two miles, instead of going for the Ryanair Chase or the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, then Walsh expects Champagne Fever to be in the mix despite taking on top-class opposition headed by Sire De Grugy and Sprinter Sacre, the last two winners of the race.

"He's in good form. Until he's declared I suppose you never know, but that (Queen Mother) looks like where he's going," Walsh told Racing UK.

"There are a few class horses in there - Sprinter Sacre and Sire De Grugy. They are very good horses and both have had difficult campaigns.

"Dodging Bullets is the standard bearer and Mr Mole is a massive improver, but Champagne Fever's record over two miles is very good - two from three and he was impressive last week so in what looks an open enough contest, he'd be a very good ride."

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