Racing: Fellow marks time until March

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The Independent Online
THE FELLOW'S odds for the Gold Cup were cut to as low as 7-4 yesterday but he is unlikely to be seen on a British racecourse until the race is run in mid-March.

Following Saturday's victory in the King George VI Chase, The Fellow's trainer Francois Doumen said: 'The challenge is to bring him back for Gold Cup day in the same shape he was for Kempton. It will not be easy.

'I'm almost certain he will not race again before, but he will be entered for the Hennessy Gold Cup in Ireland in mid-February just in case there is a change of plan.'

Pat's Jester, six-length runner- up in the King George, is also bound for Cheltenham and was cut to 20-1 (from 25) by Ladbrokes. Jodami, currently the second favourite, missed his Boxing Day target when Wetherby was frozen off. He may now be aimed at the Mandarin Chase at Newbury on Saturday.

Bookmakers' attempts to start a Gold Cup betting rush around Rushing Wild after his victory at Wincanton on Saturday received no encouragement yesterday from the seven-year-old's trainer.

The giant steeplechaser put up an exciting performance on his debut for the Martin Pipe stable, coasting home by 12 lengths from the favourite, Fit For Firing, and was promptly cut to 20-1 from 40-1 by leading layers.

But Pipe refused to get carried away. 'I don't worry about the odds,' Pipe said. 'The Gold Cup is a long way away and we'll just have to see what happens in the meantime. Rushing Wild seems to have come out of yesterday's race very well and we'll probably keep to handicaps of a similar standard for the time being.'

GOLD CUP (Cheltenham, 18 March) latest betting: (Ladbrokes) 9-4 The Fellow, 10-1 Jodami, 12-1 Run For Free, 14-1 Kings Fountain & Miinnehoma, 16-1 bar; (Coral) 7-4 The Fellow, 12-1 Miinnehoma & Jodami, 14-1 Blazing Walker, 16-1 Run For Free & Kings Fountain, 20-1 bar.