Racing: Cheltenham for Champleve

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The Independent Online
There were some nervous spectators at Lingfield yesterday as Champleve made his debut over fences. Martin Pipe's five-year-old had been backed from 20-1 to 12-1 for the Arkle Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, despite the fact that it had never jumped anything bigger than a hurdle.

But anyone who had backed Champleve need not have worried as Tony McCoy steered the French-bred horse home five lengths clear of Gipsy Geof. His Arkle odds were immediately reduced to 10-1 after the win.

"He did it very nicely, jumped well and kept going," Pipe said of his 4-7 winner.