GBI RACING

Chitu in running for Cheltenham trip after Towcester success

Chitu (red & yellow)

Irish raider Chitu may well have booked his ticket to Cheltenham's October meeting with a decisive victory in the starsportsbet.co.uk Novices' Chase at Towcester.

Not disgraced behind the classy pair of Ballyandy and Fagan at Perth last time out, there was nothing of that calibre taking him on this time.

Making all under Adam Short, he saw off Dan Skelton's four-year-old Gibson Park, the odds-on favourite, with the minimum of fuss.

James Griffin, assistant trainer to his father, Paddy, said: "The plan was to run at Perth and then go to Cheltenham, but I always had an eye on this race in case it cut up and it did.

"He's got two options now at Cheltenham, a two-mile novice which I believe would mean taking on Sceau Royal of Alan King's, or the handicap.

"It was nice to take this in on the way, but my only reservation is I'm not sure he's the type of horse who could stand three races in a month so we'll have to see how he is.

"If he doesn't run we'll put him away until the spring and bring him back for Musselburgh's Cheltenham trials meeting with a view to going to Aintree and, because he's got Scottish owners, Ayr.

"He did it really well and will be much better with a lead, we thought one of the outsiders might make the running but Adam gave him a great ride.

"I don't fancy running him under a triple penalty, but the bonus is the handicapper won't touch him for today."

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