Shantou Village (near side): remains a best-priced 33-1 for the RSA Chase
PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Report: Fontwell, Thursday
Josie O’Leary, Nicola, Beck And Archie Pineapple Novices’ Chase (Class 4) 2m5f, 4yo+
NEIL MULHOLLAND revealed all roads lead back to Cheltenham for Grade 2 winning hurdler and last year’s Albert Bartlett favourite Shantou Village after he returned to action at Fontwell with a dominant display on his chasing debut.
“He will have two quiet ones before he goes into the big company. The plan is September 30 over course and distance and then the 3m novice chase at Cheltenham on October 21,” said Mulholland.
On the performance itself he added: “I was very happy with that. Noel [Fehily – jockey] said he felt a completely different horse to his first run last year at Carlisle.”
Shantou Village was left in front when Abidjan exited the contest five from home and despite the 2-11 favourite diving at the last he looked suited by fences as he jumped bold and efficiently from the outset. Mulholland’s second string Code Of Law completed a one-two.
Fehily said: “He is quite a lazy horse anyway and was out on his own for a long time. He looks around plenty and was surely going to do something silly which he did at the last. But he is a very intelligent horse and can go long or short at his fences and is very straightforward.
“When I won on him at Carlisle last season I didn’t know if he was any good, but this time he was much better.”
The easy victory saw him trimmed to 20-1 by one firm for the RSA Chase and the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, although he remains an unchanged best-priced 33-1 for both.
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