Hinterland takes Champion test
Paul Nicholls has confirmed Hinterland will tackle the BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase rather than stick to novice company in the Racing Post Arkle at Cheltenham next week.
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The six-year-old was campaigned over fences last season, but failed to win a race so Nicholls has had a second bite of the cherry this term.
He duly won on his first outing this season before following up with a Grade One victory in the Henry VIII Novices' Chase at Sandown on his most recent start back in December.
That performance has prompted Nicholls to raise Hinterland's sights to full company at the Festival.
He said: "It's a very open race. He will have to produce a bit more than we've seen, but he's a second-season novice. He had some good form last year - he was only beaten three lengths by Captain Conan.
"He had a breathing operation in the summer and he's won two from two, goes well fresh and he ran a faster (time) in the Henry VIII than they went in the Tingle Creek, so that gives him a chance."