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Captain Chris Still Has “A Bit to Prove” Before Gold Cup


Philip Hobbs has cooled speculation that Captain Chris would be making an automatic appearance in the 2012 Cheltenham Gold Cup after staying on well to finish a distant third to Kauto Star in the King George at Kempton Boxing Day. The talented eight-year-old chaser still has Cheltenham in his sights but his conditioner declared that he still had “a bit to prove” heading into festival time in March.


Hobbs was critical of the shift Captain Chris put in during the King George and was adamant that he was capable of delivering a much bigger performance.

Speaking to At The Races on Tuesday, he summed up the December run by stating “The only disappointing thing in the King George was he's normally a horse who jumps and travels very well and he didn't do either, although he stayed on alright. The finishing position was satisfactory but he didn't appear to be at his best.”

There had been questions about whether Captain Chris was able to handle 3m in the King George and he was able to handle it, though not able to out-and-out challenge for win honours at any point. The Cheltenham Gold Cup will be running at 3m2f and connections will certainly be hoping for good ground.

The race will also see Captain Chris going left-handed which some have admitted could be a disadvantage as he tends to jump to the right.

A prep race is expected and Hobbs is said to have his eye on either the Argento Chase, the Aon Chase or the Betfair Ascot Chase in the build-up to the 2012 Cheltenham Festival. If Captain Chris was not to run in the Gold Cup, punters should expect him in the Ryanair Chase.

Captain Chris floats at 14/1 for Gold Cup glory with most major bookmakers.  

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