Racing: Stable says Dubacilla is booked for the Ritz

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The Independent Online
LESS than a fortnight to the Festival but ante-post betting was light on Cheltenham's feature races yesterday. Halkopous was trimmed to 8-1 from 10-1 by Coral for the Champion Hurdle, placing him third in their list to the 11-4 favourites Fortune And Fame and Oh So Risky; William Hill reported small sums for Bradbury Star (9-1 from 10-1) and The Fellow (10-1 from 12-1) in the Gold Cup.

The big players seemed to be concentrating on trying to 'buy money' at Warwick where two punters splashed out pounds 16,000 between them on Double Silk at 1-5 to earn a tax- free pounds 3,200. Their money was never in danger - Double Silk could have started a fence behind and still trotted up.

There is no betting yet on the Ritz Club Chase, but when the books open it might pay to remember the confidence expressed yesterday by connections of the recent Ascot and Cheltenham winner Dubacilla. 'What's going to beat her?' Veronica Cole, wife of the mare's trainer, Henry, said.

'She didn't know she a had a race at Ascot and she has only been raised a pound for that. We've been looking at the entries and the only dangers we spotted were Saturday's winner Antonin - but I can't see that beating us at Cheltenham - and Rough Quest who does not really stay.

'We're not frightened of the weight. She won with 12 stone at Ascot and she isn't a weed.'

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