Catching Pigeons: Gossip and tips from the gallops

Get all the latest whispers from the major racing training centres
Get all the latest whispers from the major racing training centres

Champagne Platinum is reported in great form ahead of Saturday's chasing debut at Cheltenham - get all the latest tips from the major training centres.

Cepage (1.55 Cheltenham)

1
711-12OR: 155BFD
5/1
Last RunWatch last race

Cepage, a good second in the Caspar Caviar Gold Cup 12 months ago, can go one better in this year’s renewal at Cheltenham on Saturday. Venetia Williams will have targeted this race as a priority after that cracking effort behind the high-class Frodon, and he showed he should soon be making up for lost time with a cracking second to Riders Onthe Storm on his first outing since that performance at Aintree last month. He has been given plenty of time to recover from that performance, and his bold jumping will stand him in good stead, in a race which may just lack its usual high quality.

Champagne Platinum (12.45 Cheltenham)

4
511-0OR: 137
5/1
Last RunWatch last race

Champagne Platinum could prove the value bet to beat stablemate Mister Fisher in the Ryman Novices' Chase. Nicky Henderson has once again set a tricky poser, and Mister Fisher is sure to run a big race because he is a high quality operator and was in need of his debut effort over fences at Warwick last month. However, Champagne Platinum is rated very highly by the Seven Barrows team as well, and if he can get his jumping into a good rhythm over these tricky fences, he should go close. Whatever happens here, he is one to note.

Destrier (1.20 Cheltenham)

1
611-12OR: 151D
5/4
Last RunWatch last race

Destrier can concede weight all round in the Cheltenham Club Handicap Chase. Dan Skelton looks to have found a good opportunity for this lightly raced and progressive six year old after his highly respectable third to the more experienced Janika on his reappearance in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter last month.

Pentland Hills (3.05 Cheltenham)

5
411-3OR: 153CD
5/2
Last RunWatch last race

Pentland Hills, a stablemate of Champagne Platinum, can start his second season the way he finished the first in the Grade 2 Unibet International Hurdle. The five times champion trainer gives plenty of credit to his former colleague Henrietta Knight for her contribution to this lowly-rated Flat performer's brilliant first season, which started late, but ended unbeaten with comfortable wins in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham and the Grade 1 for four year olds at Aintree. He has summered well, and looks sure to make his presence felt in what looks an open, and hopefully informative, Champion Hurdle trial.

Mega Yeats (3.40 Cheltenham)

7
511-6OR: 131D
13/2
Last RunWatch last race

Mega Yeats looks worth an each-way interest in the Park Mares' Handicap Hurdle. A consistent performer in bumpers and novice hurdles last season, she boasts some high grade form in both disciplines, and looks the sort to progress further. There was plenty to like about her comeback effort in a valuable event won by Stoney Mountain at Haydock last month, and she should give the well fancied Henderson-trained pair Dame De Companie and Lust For Glory plenty to think about.

Elleon (12.35 Hereford)

5
410-12OR: -
9/2
Last RunWatch last race

Elleon made a good impression when winning a bumper at Uttoxeter on his debut four weeks ago, and he has schooled well enough to suggest he should go well on his debut over timber in the Santa's Mini Racers Novices' Hurdle at Hereford. He looks as if he will stay a trip in time and this step up from the minimum trip to two miles three and a half furlongs will suit.

Dublin Pharaoh (2.35 Newcastle)

3
9
29-5OR: -
11/10
Last RunWatch last race

Dublin Pharaoh ran a sound first race behind the highly rated Great Ambassador over seven furlongs at Chelmsford last month, and he would appear to have less to do in the Ladbrokes Novice Stakes at Newcastle. The Roger Varian team think a bit of him and he gives the impression that this extra furlong will suit.

Echiquier (1.45 Southwell)

1
511-4OR: 132
15/8
Last RunWatch last race

Echiquier did not appear to get home over the three miles in a competitive handicap at Haydock on his latest start, and he looks the one to be on in the Masdings.com National Hunt Novices' Hurdle qualifier at Southwell on Sunday. Nigel Twiston-Davies' charge appeared to be going as well as anything turning for home, and he should prove too good for the Henderson-trained Keen On, who may have been a tad fortunate to prevail at Sandown on his most recent start.


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