Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Stick with Pl an Be in Betvict or; I'd Rather Be Backing Henderson in Cheltenham Showdown; It's a Matter of Principle for Vaughan

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Stick with Pl an Be in Betvict or; I'd Rather Be Backing Henderson in Cheltenham Showdown; It's a Matter of Principle for Vaughan

Article excerpt

by Garry owen RATHER BE (2.25) can land a monster gamble in the Grade 3 BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham.

Nicky Henderson isn't a name you'd usually associate with this valuable chase but he has a live contender in this gelding who bolted up on his fencing bow at Towcester in December.

The seven-year-old then unseated Jeremiah McGrath early on at Plumpton but got on track when hammering Dylan in a warm TURN TO PAGE TWO FROM PAGE ONE Fakenham novice chase. I was very keen on Rather Be's chances in the Close Brothers at the Festival here and he ran a blinder on his first try over 2m 4f only to be mugged late by Mister Whitaker.

Best fresh, the Champion trainer has wisely kept him off the track ever since and he can exact his revenge on his rival (and refund my cash) thanks to a 9lb swing in the weights.

Co-owner Matt Morgan said: "As Nicky Henderson has already stated earlier this week, he comes into the race in good form after turning a corner a couple of weeks ago.

"Jerry McGrath has schooled him a couple of times and rode him in his last piece of work and he was delighted with him. It's obviously ultra competitive but he'll love the ground and we know he goes well fresh having suffered only one defeat after a break in his bumper days.

"I fear them all, especially Baron Alco and Mister Whitaker, who I think will become graded class in time. I just hope that we do too!" The BetVictor.com Handicap Chase is a punting minefield but I'm happy to take a chance on SHARP RESPONSE (1.50).

Sue Smith's seven-year-old has made rapid progress over fences and he relished a stiff 3m 2f when hacking up from Mahler Lad in a decent event at Carlisle last month.

That career best has earned the gelding an 11lb hike but he is largely unexposed as a stayer and can get the better of some established stars with further progress likely. …

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