Racing UK

Charbel target undecided as Kim Bailey puts thinking cap on

Thursday 16 February 2017

Kim Bailey

Kim Bailey remains undecided which route he will take with promising novice chaser Charbel at next month's Cheltenham Festival.

The Andoversford handler is weighing up whether to run the six-year-old in either the Arkle or the JLT having ruled him out of the Grand Annual which he is not qualified for.

After defeating subsequent Grade One winner Top Notch on his chasing debut at Uttoxeter in October he has not been seen out since chasing home Arkle favourite Altior in the Henry VIII Novices' Chase at Sandown in December.

Bailey said: "He has been coughing but he is now back working. I wanted to get a race into him at Market Rasen on Sunday but we can't do that so we are slightly stuffed really.

"We've not made our mind up which race we will go to, it will either be the Arkle or the JLT. He is favourite for the Grand Annual with some but he is not qualified for that.

"The plan, though, is to go to the Festival and if he is in good form he runs. If he doesn't get there we have got Aintree and we've got Punchestown.

"My horses were wrong at the time when we ran against Altior.I was so impressed by Altior at the weekend. I sent Nicky Henderson a text message saying that I think you would beat Douvan."

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