Captain Chris likely to run in Gold Cup

Ascot Chase winner Captain Chris is likely to take his chance in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup next month and could also run at the Punchestown festival in April, according to trainer Philip Hobbs.

Despite thrashing his rivals at Ascot, running out a 19-length winner in the Grade 1 race, Captain Chris is not a certain starter at Cheltenham because he is considered to be at his best running right-handed, as he did at Ascot.

However, on Sunday his trainer said the absence of alternative targets next month means Captain Chris is likely to again run in the Gold Cup, in which he finished sixth last year.

“Captain Chris is absolutely fine today and obviously we’re delighted with him,” said Hobbs. “He might run in the Gold Cup [next]. I would think it’s likely he’ll run, as there’s nothing else for him in March.”

The nine-time winner is as big as 33-1 with Paddy Power for the Gold Cup, but just 14-1 with bet365.

However, Hobbs added that his stable star’s main targets fall in April, when Captain Chris has options at Punchestown and Sandown, both right-handed tracks.

“There’s two main races for him are in April now, a 2m6f chase at Sandown [on Saturday April 26] or the Gold Cup at the Punchestown festival [on Wednesday April 30],” Hobbs said. “One of those will be his main target.”

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