Hobbs unveils Cheltenham hopes

Philip Hobbs identified Big Easy and Duke Of Lucca as two of his big chances at the Cheltenham Festival next week.

Hobbs unveils Cheltenham hopes

Philip Hobbs identified Big Easy and Duke Of Lucca as two of his big chances at the Cheltenham Festival next week.

The former is due to run in the Pertemps Network Final, while Duke Of Lucca holds an entry in the Glenfarclas Handicap Chase.

The British handler told the Times: “We will have our usual team of 15 or so, with Big Easy and Duke Of Lucca being among our main hopes.

“Big Easy qualified for the Pertemps by finishing fourth at Exeter the other day.

“The handicapper decided to put him up 2lb, which was a bit mean, but it’s a race that should play to his strengths.”

Hobbs will also saddle 2011 Weatherbys Champion Bumper scorer Cheltenian in the Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle.

The trainer has another live Bumper chance in Wait For Me, who impressed on his sole start at Ascot in February.

Hobbs said: “Cheltenian had run in Ireland before we got him and was very keen-pulling – a hurdler – whereas Wait For Me is much more a three-mile chaser.

“He’s tough and had a fair bit of experience before he came to me, so I think he will cope well with the hurly-burly side of it.”

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