Annacotty is likely to take RSA route according to Martin Keighley

Last Updated: 25/02/14 2:58pm

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Annacotty: Connections avoiding handicaps at Festival

Annacotty: Connections avoiding handicaps at Festival

Sky Bet

Annacotty is likely to shoot for Grade One glory in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham instead of going down the handicap route.

The six-year-old was a surprise winner of the Feltham Novices' Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day and was not disgraced when runner-up behind Indian Castle under a big weight at Cheltenham last month.

Martin Keighley's charge is entered in both the RSA and the Festival Handicap Chase at Prestbury Park.

"We'll make a decision nearer the time, but we are probably leaning towards the RSA at the moment," said Keighley.

"The weights for the handicaps are released on Wednesday, but we're probably going to keep him against novices. We'll see.

"We gave him a break for a couple of weeks after he ran at Cheltenham last month, but he is back now and worked well this morning.

"We'll go to the Festival very hopeful he can run a big race."

Annacotty is just one of several potential Cheltenham runners for locally-based Keighley, with Champion Court possibly set to revert to handicaps.

"I think we've got quite a nice team, hopefully," said the trainer.

"Champion Court will go for either the Ryanair Chase or the Byrne Group Plate.

"We're probably favouring the Byrne Group with him. He'd have a lot of weight, but he's a big horse and he is probably just a notch below top-class.

"Having said that, with Sprinter Sacre out of the Champion Chase, a few more horses might go there rather than the Ryanair, so it could cut up. We'll see what happens."

Keighley also nominated the Pertemps Final as the target for Benbane Head and is sweet on the chances of Any Currency in the cross-country race.

He said: "Benbane Head will run in the Pertemps Final and I think Any Currency has got an outstanding chance in the Glenfarclas Cross-Country Chase.

"If one of them can find the target, we'll be delighted."

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