Arvika ready for Champion clash

  • Last Updated: February 24 2014, 14:29 GMT

Ruby Walsh doesn't believe that Arvika Ligeonniere will be troubled by racing left-handed in next month's BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

Arvika Ligeonniere: Set for the Champion Chase
Arvika Ligeonniere: Set for the Champion Chase

The nine-year-old has disappointed on two previous visits to Prestbury Park, finishing a 27 length fourth in the 2010 renewal of the Albert Bartlett and pulling up in last year's Arkle Trophy.

That, and other performances in Ireland, had prompted many to believe that the gelding needed to race right-handed but his big race jockey is not among them.

"He has to prove himself going left-handed but I can't see that being an issue and he was very good in the Tied Cottage Chase," Walsh told Racing UK.

"I think I rode him wrong at Leopardstown at Christmas. I dropped him in and rode him for a bit of speed and I don't think that suited him. he's a better horse being able to gallop along close to the pace and make use of his jumping but you try different things and make mistakes.

"Sire De Grugy's form has been rock solid all year and he's a deserving favourite but you'd have to fancy him a bit more now that Sprinter Sacre is not there anyway.

"He seems very fit and very well and, fingers crossed, he'll get there and put up a good show," he added.


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