Cheltenham Festival: National Hunt Chase the aim for Pats Fancy and Rebecca Curtis after Chepstow wins

Pats Fancy has won two of his three starts over fences at Chepstow, including an impressive 11-length victory at the Welsh track last month; Rebecca Curtis planning Exeter prep before National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham Festival in March

Pats Fancy and Ben Jones clear the last at Chepstow
Image: Pats Fancy and Ben Jones clear the last at Chepstow

Rebecca Curtis' promising novice chaser Pats Fancy is pencilled in for the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham after an impressive start to his career over fences.

The seven-year-old was a taking winner at Chepstow on December 27, claiming a novice handicap chase by 11 lengths in what was his third start over fences.

Fourth on his chasing debut at the same track in early November, he then went on to win next time out, again at Chepstow, leaving him with a record of two from three over the bigger obstacles.

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An Exeter novices' chase is the next target for the bay, with the three-mile-six-furlong National Hunt Chase in March the ultimate target this season.

"He's in really good form since his last two runs," Curtis said.

"We plan to run him now on February 2 at Exeter, there's a three-mile novice chase there.

"We're going to use that as a prep run and then he'll just go straight to Cheltenham for the National Hunt Chase."

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Trainer Rebecca Curtis
Image: Trainer Rebecca Curtis won the National Hunt Chase in 2012 with Teaforthree

Pats Fancy's form so far has earned him favourable comparisons to Teaforthree, Curtis' popular staying chaser who won the National Hunt Chase in 2012 and was also sired by Oscar.

"I've always thought he'd stay. He reminds me very much of Teaforthree actually, who we won it with back in 2012," she said.

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"They're very similar and by the same sire. He jumps really well, Pats Fancy, and I think he'll stay so he should be ideal for the race.

"He's a big horse, he was a bit weak but the older he's got, the stronger he's got, so hopefully he will keep improving."

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