OVERTURN’S next target is likely to be the Scottish Future Champions Novices’ Chase at Musselburgh on 3 February.
Donald McCain’s 2012 Champion Hurdle runner-up has looked electric since switching to fences this season with easy victories at Sandown and Doncaster already notched up. He was due to head back to Town Moor this weekend for the Lightning Novices’ Chase but the cold weather scuppered that.
McCain is now looking to East Lothian, where the ground does tend to be better, with a slim possibility the Kingmaker Novices’ Chase at Warwick on 9 February could come into the equation.
“It’s possible he could go to the Kingmaker but there’s a race over two and a half miles at Musselburgh on their big day when they have a few Cheltenham trials,” said McCain. “It’s a shame Doncaster has gone as the race looked ideal for him and he’s been there before. The one thing you can’t control is the weather.
“I don’t have many that really need another run but Overturn would be one of them, it’s getting a bit difficult now we are losing so much racing.”
Meanwhile, Bobs Worth, ante-post favourite for the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, will not run in the Argento Chase at Cheltenham this weekend. The Nicky Henderson-trained eight-year-old was found to be not quite 100 per cent following a routine check-up earlier in the week. He will now contest the Gold Cup on 15 March without a prep run.
Henderson explained: “Bobs Worth is not going to be able to run on Saturday, which is very disappointing for everybody, including the owners. We very much wanted to run, but the good thing is it doesn’t affect March in any way.
“We were just doing a routine check on Monday, which all the horses have before they run. There was something not quite right with him and it’s just going the wrong way, rather than the right way.”
The Seven Barrows handler is unfazed by the prospect of sending Bobs Worth to the Gold Cup without the benefit of another run.
“He’s a very straightforward horse,” sid Henderson, “but it’s disappointing more than anything else.” Tomorrow’s card at Cheltenham faces an inspection this morning.
l Results of a British Horse-racing Authority investigation into alleged breaches of the rules of Racing involving footballers Michael Chopra and James Coppinger, among others, are set to be published today.
Ipswich striker Chopra and Doncaster midfielder Coppinger, along with ex-England under-21 player Mark Wilson, are among nine people facing charges centring around former Flat jockey Andrew Heffernan and three horses being laid to lose on betting exchanges.
Nine people are accused of conspiring with other persons to commit a corrupt or fraudulent practice. The BHA said that its disciplinary panel would announce its results at midday, with any hearings surrounding any penalties to be heard immediately afterwards.