Chapoturgeon looks good to justify favourite tag

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Christie’s Foxhunter Chase favourite Chapoturgeon is bang on target for the Cheltenham contest.

Trained in Dorset by Richard Barber, the eight-year-old gelding wound up for this assignment with victory at Newbury in January before rubber-stamping his participation in a point-to-point last month.

Chapoturgeon is owned by David Johnson and Paul Nicholls, and won the 2009 Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase at the Festival.

Barber’s assistant, Harry Fry, said: “It’s all systems go and this looks a fine opportunity for him.

“He won very easily at Newbury and had a school round in a point-to-point on February 19 to ensure his qualification.

“He came out of that with no problems and no hold-ups and he goes there with a very good chance.

“He’s still got that class about him and is really fresh and well. He’ll be grafting all the way towards the race and we couldn’t be happier with him.”

Chapoturgeon will again be ridden by the trainer’s grandson, Jack Barber, who secured his first victory under Rules at Newbury in January.

Barber also has a worthy ally for the Foxhunter in the former Nicky Richards inmate According To John, who has won three consecutive point-to-points.

Fry added: “According To John goes there with a strong chance, we think. He’s had a wind op since winning his three point-to-points and is in good order.

“Will Biddick, our number one and currently leading the mens’ point-to-point championship, will ride.”

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