Nicholls star Fago given Jewson option at Cheltenham Festival
Last Updated: January 24, 2013 1:10pm
Fago: Impressed on his debut over fences and entered in the Jewson
Fago is one of 65 entries for the Jewson Novices' Chase along with the likes of Captain Conan, Dynaste and Oscars Well.
All four of the ante-post market leaders have multiple entries, with Dynaste featuring among the RSA Chase field and the other three named above having the Arkle Trophy as an option.
Willie Mullins again has a bumper entry with Boston Bob, Aupcharlie and Mikael D'Haguenet possible runners, while Fago's stablemates Sire Collonges and Unioniste have this and the RSA Chase as their possible assignments however Hinterland doesn't feature.
The progressive Rajdhani Express is alongside Captain Conan as one of five from Nicky Henderson's yard, Salden Licht is the sole Alan King representative and Ian Williams' smart hurdler Barbatos has an entry despite having yet to jump a fence in public.
Arkle second-favourite Overturn is perhaps not unexpectedly absent from the list but stablemates Desert Cry and Super Duty do feature.
Tom Taaffe is favouring a crack at the Jewson with Argocat after giving his runner a clutch of entries.
The Irish handler has entered his Limerick Grade Two winner in the two-and-a-half-mile heat, as well as the three-mile RSA Chase and two-mile Racing Post Arkle Trophy.
However, after winning over an extended two miles and three furlongs on Boxing Day, Taaffe believes the Jewson offer the best chance of Festival glory.
He said: "The preference for Argocat at the moment is the Jewson over two and a half miles.
"He won't run again before Cheltenham but he has been in super form since his win at Limerick. He had a mid-term break and is back in full swing now.
"He did what he had to do at Limerick and was in receipt of the four-year-old weight allowance.
"He is progressive and has done nothing but please us since he has gone over fences.
"I started schooling him in April last year and he jumped so well that I said that we are better off going over fences than sticking to hurdles.
"Better ground will definitely help him a lot and that's why I have entered him in the two other races."