Russell Outlines Bold Cheltenham Plan

2/7/13 - Anyone who saw the sickening last-fence fall of Bold Sir Brian at Cheltenham last month must have feared the worst for the Lucinda Russell-trained rising star, and there was huge relief all round and plenty of applause as the Scottish-trained gelding eventually staggered to his feet some minutes after the race.

Happily, Russell reports Bold Sir Brian to have suffered nothing more than heavy bruising, but he admits that it took the gelded son of Brian Boru a good few days before he was moving freely once again.

Having been considered a potential contender for this seasonís Gold Cup by Cheltenham 2013 tips writers, connections have now decided to lower their sights a little for this season, and hopefully find their way to the championship event 12 months down the line.

The JLT Speciality Handicap Chase at next monthís Cheltenham Festival is now the main target for the winner of five of his six races, prior to his crunching fall in the Grade 3 Murphy Group Handicap Chase.

In that race, he had held every chance until tiring rapidly and falling when in a fading third place at the last in an event eventually won by the Venetia Williams-trained Katenko.

Russell intends to run the seven-year-old at Kelso in the Premier Chase at the start of March as a warm-up for his Cheltenham bid. He still holds entries in both the Gold Cup and the Ryanair Chase, but the handicap option is now the preferred route and Bold Sir Brian can currently be backed at general odds of 16/1 in the Cheltenham 2013 betting.

Rated 155 now, the Scots chaser had been particularly impressive on his penultimate outing at Sandown in December, when slamming Pacha Du Polder by an impressive 16 lengths in the listed Sportingbet Future Stars Chase.

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