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Cheltenham Festival: Bun Doran will not take up Grand Annual engagement but Come On Teddy on track

Bun Doran, 11, recorded his first victory since December 2019 at Doncaster on Saturday and has a Grand Annual entry at the Cheltenham Festival; Come On Teddy set to run in Kim Muir or Ultima Handicap Chase for trainer Tom George

Bun Doran and Jonathan Burke win at Kempton
Image: Veteran Bun Doran returned to winning ways at Doncaster on Saturday

Tom George has ruled Saturday's Doncaster winner Bun Doran out of the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase at Cheltenham.

The 11-year-old gained the fourth chasing success of his career when landing the extended two-mile Virgin Bet Handicap Chase by a neck.

The in-form Slad trainer will bypass the Festival with the Shantou gelding, however.

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George said: "He won't be going there, but he did well.

"It was a good day for him. He probably won't go to Aintree either. He is an old boy who owes us nothing, so we will probably wait and see, take our time and see what pops up for him. We don't have any firm plans for him."

George, who is no stranger to Cheltenham success, saddling Summerville Boy to success in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle and Polish-bred Galileo to victory in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle, will instead rely on Come On Teddy for further Festival glory.

Come On Teddy (white cap) beats Fern Hill on chasing debut at Uttoxeter
Image: Come On Teddy (white cap) beats Fern Hill on chasing debut at Uttoxeter

The eight-year-old, who is owned by the Noel Fehily Racing Syndicates, got off to a good start on his chasing debut, winning at Uttoxter in December.

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Though well held by the smart L'Homme Presse at Cheltenham on New Years' Day, he ran a fine second to Omar Maretti at Newcastle next time and will go to the Festival as a fresh horse, following a near two-month break.

George said: "He is entered in both the Ultima Handicap Chase and the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Amateur Jockeys' Handicap Chase.

"However, I don't know if he will get into the Ultima. We will have to wait and see."

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Come On Teddy is a best-priced 16/1 for the Ultima, and 20/1 for the Kim Muir.

"The plan is to run at Cheltenham, regardless," added George. "We are very happy with him and he is in good form."

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