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2014 Champion Chase tips - Captain Conan camp in confident mood

Leading Cheltenham Festival jockey Barry Geraghty believes Captain Conan can prove an able deputy for stablemate Sprinter Sacre in the 2014 BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase.

Geraghty and trainer Nicky Henderson will be bidding for a hat-trick of victories in this contest after scoring with Finian's Rainbow and Sprinter Sacre for the last two years, while the rider was also successful on board Moscow Flyer in 2003 and 2005 and Big Zeb in 2010.

Sadly, last season's runaway winner Sprinter Sacre will not be present at the Festival this term as he continues his rehabilitation after suffering an irregular heartbeat at Kempton over the Christmas period.

However, Captain Conan could prove a super-sub for connections, having enjoyed a successful novice campaign over fences last season, prevailing at Sandown twice, Cheltenham and Aintree, with three of those victories coming at Grade One level.

His scalps included current Champion Chase favourite Sire De Grugy in an Arkle trial at Prestbury Park in November 2012, while he also beat Hinterland in emphatic fashion in the Henry VIII Novices' Chase at Sandown.

Captain Conan was only fifth behind Benefficient and Dynaste in the Jewson Novices' Chase at the 2013 Festival, but he was bang there at the last in that 2m 4f contest and looks sure to benefit from a drop in distance this time. 

“Captain Conan always promised a lot at home. He’s delivered on some days and not on others. He might just be a horse that is difficult to get right on the day, but he seems really well at the moment," Geraghty told At The Races.

The seven-year-old's only run of the current campaign resulted in a third-place finish behind Sire De Grugy in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown but Henderson has been making all the right noises in the build-up to Cheltenham and Geraghty is also in a bullish mood.

“You could say he disappointed in the Tingle Creek but he was still there going to two out before weakening so he has not got an awful lot to find," added Geraghty. "He seems better than he’s ever been so I’m really looking forward to him.”


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2014 Champion Chase tips - Captain Conan camp in confident mood

Leading Cheltenham Festival jockey Barry Geraghty believes Captain Conan can prove an able deputy for stablemate Sprinter Sacre in the 2014 BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase.

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