Champagne West on ice for Cheltenham Festival
Promising novice Champagne West is likely to head straight to Cheltenham after winning for the third time over hurdles.
Last Updated: 23/01/14 12:28pm
Having already landed a Pertemps Qualifier at Wincanton, it was assumed the final of that series was his target at the Cheltenham Festival.
But owner Roger Brookhouse said the Philip Hobbs-trained six-year-old will have other options in March.
He said: "He'll probably be put away now until Cheltenham.
"I know he won a Pertemps Qualifier but I'd have thought he'd have a couple of options there.
"I'm not worried about him doing all his winning so far on soft, I've no doubts at all that he'll handle better ground.
"We've got some lovely, young horses this season and he's one of them."
On the same afternoon at Haydock, the Brookhouse-owned Wuff, trained by David Pipe, maintained his unbeaten record over obstacles with a gutsy win over fixed-brush hurdles. A similar event is next on his agenda.
"Wuff will go back to Haydock in a few weeks (February 15) for another fixed-brush race over three miles," said Brookhouse.
"He's going to be a three-mile chaser of the future but he showed at the weekend that's he's also got a turn of foot."
Pipe's Western Warhorse made a delayed winning chasing debut at Doncaster on January 8 after he broke loose before the start on his intended bow at Kempton.
Brookhouse said: "Western Warhorse can be a bit of a monkey, as he showed the time before, but he enjoyed himself at Doncaster.
"A lot of my youngsters have been point-to-pointing so when they go chasing they've already had plenty of experience and it showed with him.
"He might be one for Cheltenham, too."
Brookhouse suffered one recent significant reverse when The Liquidator was a disappointing favourite in the Tolworth Hurdle.
He said: "We still haven't come up with any answers but we get some more test results back this weekend.
"I'm sure between my vet and David (Pipe) we'll find something. It was just too bad to be true."