Aon aim for Punchestowns

NEXT month’s Aon Chase at Newbury is the most likely next port of call for Nicky Henderson’s Punchestowns.

The talented eight-year-old was beaten just a head by the equally promising Pride Of Dulcote on his seasonal reappearance at Newbury last month.

He holds an entry in a graduation chase at Haydock this weekend but a return to Berkshire on February 12 is on his agenda, according to his in-form trainer.

“I think the Aon Chase is the most likely target for him and he’s in good form,” said the Seven Barrows handler.

“He worked on Saturday and I was very pleased with him at Newbury.”

Meanwhile, Tidal Bay is on course for a crack at the Argento Chase at Cheltenham on Saturday week.

The enigmatic 10-year-old ran his best race for some time when second to Imperial Commander in the Betfair Chase at Haydock in November and a prominent showing on his next start could earn him a place in the Cheltenham Gold Cup field.

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