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Cheltenham: Chantry House set for acid test

Chantry House will put his Gold Cup credentials to the test when he takes on four rivals in the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham on Saturday.

The Grade 2 is run on Trials day and has been won twice by Chantry House's trainer Nicky Henderson, most recently when Santini won the race two years ago before going down narrowly in the Gold Cup to Al Boum Photo. Chantry House is currently 20/1 to win the Gold Cup.

Duo set for showdown

Santini, now trained by Polly Gundry, returns among the opposition to Chantry House and is joined in the select field by Simply The Betts, a winner at the Cheltenham Festival in 2020 in the Plate, northern raider Aye Right and Kauto Riko.

Chantry House won two Grade 1 races as a novice chaser last season including the Marsh Novices' Chase but flopped when sent off favourite for last month's King George VI Chase. The eight-year-old now wears cheekpieces for the first time.

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Henderson explains prep

Henderson said: "We've put cheekpieces on to try and help him. I suppose everyone will look at Kempton and ask what went wrong but it all just happened very quickly, it was essentially his first time out of novice company where he was able to dictate a race.

"They just went too quick, we know that, and it got lots of horses out of their comfort zone. He'll just have to be a little bit sharper, and he will with the cheekpieces on. They'll help him face up to it. He's in really good order, he'll love the ground.

"It's an important race, he's got to come through this. I still hope he's our Gold Cup horse, but I guess we'll have to find out."

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