Captain Chris books Cheltenham ticket

    Captain Chris easily won the Grade Two Pendil Novices’ Chase at Kempton on Saturday afternoon.

    Philip Hobbs’ chaser was sent off 2-5 favourite to beat his two rivals in the two and a half mile contest and had little trouble disposing of them.

    The seven-year-old, second to Medermit at Sandown last time, is a leading fancy for both the Arkle and Jewson Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham next month.

    Sky Bet cut him to 8s from 10s for the Arkle and 6s from 8s for the Jewson.

    Winning jockey Richard Johnson said: “He’s had three really good runs over fences and has finished second to two really good horses, so it’s nice to get a win.

    “To be fair to him he put down on me when I squeezed him so I just let him do his own thing as he was a bit brave at Sandown the last day.

    “He was on his own in front a long time today but he’s going the right way.

    “Conditions weren’t ideal today but it was just to give him more experience.”

    Hobbs said: “It didn’t really tell us anything new, but it was nice to get a bit more experience into him.

    “There were no negatives about that. We’ll leave him in the Arkle and the Jewson, and we will probably make a decision as late as possible.

    “The Jewson could be the easier race. I’ve got Wishfull Thinking for that, but I could run both because they have got the same owners.”

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