Racing: Teeton Mill silences most of his critics

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TEETON MILL enhanced his Cheltenham Gold Cup claims with a brilliant four-length victory in the Mitsubishi Shogun Chase at Ascot on Saturday. Thought unsure to be speedy enough to cope with Ascot's two miles, three furlongs and 100 yards, Teeton Mill silenced his critics in style but, bizarrely - the horse, who won the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup Handicap Chase over 31/4 miles and 110 yards at Newbury and has also won over 31/2 miles, left some now wondering if he has too much speed for Cheltenham. Direct Route, a tame fourth, is now doubtful for the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

Unsinkable Boxer was deeply unimpressive in beating Spendid (who was conceding 4lb) by just a head in a novices' chase at Warwick. On this evidence, he has no chance in the Gold Cup, little more in the Royal & SunAlliance Novices' Chase and would be better off in the Stayers' Hurdle.

Behrajan - entered for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle, SunAlliance Hurdle and Triumph Hurdle - did his pros-pects no harm with a victory at the Midlands track. Flagship Uberalles, who beat sole rival Tresor De Mai, is now a real contender for the Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices' Chase.

Coral and Ladbrokes are betting on some of the handicaps at the Festival.

NATIONAL HUNT HANDICAP CHASE (3m1f, Cheltenham, 16 March): Coral: 9-2 Island Chief, 8-1 Eulogy, Step On Eyre, Kendal Cavalier, 9-1 Random Harvest, Fiddling The Facts, 12-1 Go Ballistic, 16-1 Dr Leunt, Sparkling Cone, Even Flow, Linden's Lotto, 20-1 Fine Thyne, Macgeorge, 25-1 Torduff Express, Dom Samourai, King Lucifer, Betty's Boy, Papillon. Ladbrokes: 10-1 Island Chief, Step On Eyre, 14-1 Dr Leunt, Eulogy, Fiddling The Facts, Random Harvest, 16-1 All The Aces, Calling Wild, Clever Remark, Earthmover, Go Ballistic, King Lucifer, Macgeorge, Papillon, Santa Concerto, Scotton Green.

CORAL CUP HANDICAP HURDLE (2m 5f, Cheltenham, 17 March) Coral: 6-1 Galant Moss, 10-1 Melody Maid, Sir Talbot, Castle Sweep, Kings Measure, 12-1 Easter Ross, 14-1 Torboy, Amitge, 16-1 Rainbow Frontier, 20-1 Supreme Lady, 25-1 Teaatral, L'Opera, Globe Runner, Allegation.

MILDMAY OF FLETE HANDICAP CHASE (2m 4f 110yds, Cheltenham, 17 March): Coral: 6-1 Tidebrook, Potentate, Mr Strong Gale, 8-1 Monnaie Forte, Gris D'Estreval, 10-1 Listen Timmy, 12-1 Dr Leunt, Senor El Bettruti, 16-1 Wayward King, Flying Instructor, Super Coin, Jathib, 20-1 Sparky Gayle, Pete The Parson.

COUNTY HANDICAP HURDLE (2m 1f, Cheltenham, 18 March): Coral: 6-1 Toast The Spreece, 7-1 City Hall, 10-1 Master Beveled, 12-1 Ismemo, 14-1 Shantarini, Tidjani, Saw-Id, 16-1 Archive Footage, Toto Toscato, Sir Talbot, 20-1 Effectual, Serenus, Polar Prospect, Kathryn's Pet, Sadler's Realm.