Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Boychuk Earns Christmas Treat

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Boychuk Earns Christmas Treat

Article excerpt

Byline: By Martin Kelly

Boychuk earned himself a Christmas treat in the form of an outing in the Feltham Chase on Boxing Day after landing the Grade Two Unicoin Homes Novices' Chase at Newbury.

The Philip Hobbs-trained five-year-old chased home a Paul Nicholls inmate last time out, but came home ahead of one this time when lowering the colours of Gungadu.

Defeat seemed out of the question for the latter following his win at Cheltenham last month, but the 4-9 favourite hit several fences and was starting to falter when Boychuk challenged at the last. He then had no response when Richard Johnson forged past on the 7-2 winner, with Nicholls' charge a length and a half in arrears after the three-mile test.

Ladbrokes introduced the winner at 20-1 for the Royal & SunAlliance Chase, while Cashmans went 20-1 and pushed Gungadu out to 14-1 from 10s.

Hobbs said: "The Feltham is the obvious place to go next. For one who stays so well he is not short of pace, but he wouldn't want it too soft.

"He was placed in some very good races last season, but was just short of top class. He was very careful first time out over fences at Exeter, but was brilliant today and had plenty of confidence."

Killaghy Castle's odds for the Irish Independent Arkle Trophy took a nosedive after the six-year-old scored first time out over fences in the Lane Fox Beginners' Chase.

A smart hurdler, Nick Gifford's charge ranged upsides 8-11 favourite Briareus in the straight and the 4-1 shot went on to beat that rival by a length and a half.

Stan James and Blue Square trimmed the winner to 14-1 for the Arkle, while Ladbrokes and totesport went 16-1 and VC Bet and Coral 20s.

Gifford said: "I knew two miles and a furlong would be too short but a big, galloping track always brings jumping to the fore. I am not sure where he will go next. As far as distance is concerned, two miles on a galloping track would be fine or two and a half on a sharp track."

Noel Fehily kept Karanja up to his work for a gritty success over an extended three miles in the pounds 20,000 Pertemps Handicap Hurdle. …

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