Punters get Brave calling in Post Chase

CORAL have cut Calling Brave from 16-1 to 12-1 for the Racing Post Chase on Saturday after Nicky Henderson’s charge was yesterday the subject of decent market support.

The 10-year-old has not been seen since he was pulled up in the 2004 King George VI Chase, but is reportedly in fine fettle ahead of the Sandown feature.

“We were hoping to run last week in the Ascot (totesport) Chase, but the ground was probably a little too heavy for him at Lingfield,” said Barry Simpson, racing manager to owner Sir Robert Ogden.

“The plan is to run this weekend as long as the ground doesn’t go very heavy.

“He’s in good form and we desperately need to get a run into him if we are going to Cheltenham.”

Meanwhile, Len Lungo’s Brooklyn Breeze has a “50-50” chance of running in the Grade Three contest.

Currently trading at 14-1 with Ladbrokes, Lungo is reluctant to rule his nine-year-old out of the race completely as there is so much prize money on offer.

But if soft conditions prevail he is likely to head straight to the Cheltenham Festival.

“It’s such a good prize that we will leave him in the race until we know exactly what the ground is going to be like,” said Lungo.

“As long as it doesn’t get too soft in the back straight he could take his chance but if not he will go straight to Cheltenham.”

Jamie Moore has been pencilled in to ride Tikram - should Gary Moore’s take his chance.

Moore junior is likely to take over from regular pilot Tony McCoy due to the champion jockey’s commitments with owner JP McManus.

However, the East Sussex handler revealed Tikram will not line up in the Racing Post Chase - for which he is a general 14-1 chance - if conditions are not in his favour.

“It will depend on the ground,” said Moore.

“It will be very doubtful if he ran on soft or heavy, but good to soft and he’d be a definite runner.

“The bad mistake cost him on bad ground in the Victor Chandler (when he finished last behind Tysou) so hopefully he will go better this time.”

Francois Doumen is likely to be double-handed with Innox and top weight L’Ami.

“Both are intended runners at this stage,” said the French trainer.

“I hope Tony McCoy will be able to ride Innox.

“I haven’t had a good look at the field yet but I would like to think that he would ride our horse.”

Meanwhile Garvivonnian will bid to galvanise his John Smith’s Grand National claims by catching the eye at Fairyhouse on Saturday.

Edward Mitchell’s 11-year-old will take his chance in the Grade Two Osmosis Ireland Limited Bobbyjo Chase before heading to the blue riband at Aintree in April.

The totesport Becher Chase winner, a staying-on third over two miles, six furlongs at Tramore last time, is as low as 25-1 to win the National, where he has been allotted 10st 6lb and is likely to be partnered by Garrett Cotter.

“He’ll definitely run at Fairyhouse and is very well,” said County Limerick handler Mitchell.

“The one of Michael O’Brien’s (Forget The Past) looks the one to beat but if mine runs respectively we’ll be very happy.

“He should be there or thereabouts at Aintree with a bit of luck and I am very happy with the weight he’s got.

“Garrett will hopefully ride him in the National after he won with him in the Becher Chase.

“But Martin Ferris will be on on Saturday so he’ll be shaving 5lb off in the weights.”

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