Racing: Doumen favours Kempton return

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The Independent Online
THE FELLOW, third to Barton Bank and Bradbury Star at Kempton, is likely to return to that course for the Racing Post Chase on 26 February, writes Matt Chapman.

Francois Doumen, his trainer, has the Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown on 6 February as an alternative, but there he could encounter the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, Jodami, and Doumen favours the Kempton feature.

'I'm leaving him in the Irish race at the declaration stage,' Doumen said. 'At the moment I would prefer to run at Kempton and then have another go at the (Cheltenham) Gold Cup.'

Doumen believes The Fellow has more ability than his King George run suggests: 'He ran well against Barton Bank, but was not quite at his best.'

Ucello II, The Fellow's more highly rated stable-companion, will not be entered for the Gold Cup. 'Without experience of English fences, I'm not sure he would jump round in the Gold Cup,' Doumen said.

Sue Bramall, who had the biggest success of her career when Antonin won the Ladbroke Gold Cup Chase at Newbury on Saturday, runs Beauchamp Grace and Able Player in the Prix des Amandiers hurdle at Cagnes-Sur-Mer today.