Cheltenham Festival News
Friday 7th March 2014
Can the Real Somersby Step Forward?

The Mick Channon-trained Somersby is among the 12 six-day confirmations for the BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase over two miles, the highlight on the second day of The Festival, Ladies Day, Wednesday, March 12.

© Racehorse Photos

Sire De Grugy is the strong favourite, in the wake of Sprinter Sacre's defection, but Channon thinks that his charge could cause an upset if things fall right on the day.

Somersby, who was beaten four lengths by Sire De Grugy into second in the BetVictor Tingle Creek Chase, had previously worn down Module in the BetVictor Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter, but could not build on his Sandown Park effort when unseating regular rider Dominic Elsworth at the fifth in the Clarence House Chase on his latest outing.

The 10-year-old boasts some top-class Festival form, coming home third in the 2009 Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and a close second in the following year’s Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase.

Channon reported: “Somersby is in great form and the intention is to run in the BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase. Obviously, he unseated at Ascot but his preparation has gone well since then.

“He is probably the forgotten horse, but he is renowned for making those silly mistakes and is his own worst enemy.

“A strongly run two miles around Cheltenham seems to suit him and, if the real Somersby turns up, he will shake them all up – I can assure you of that.”

The Cheltenham festival betting suggests Somersby has a lot to do and he's a 20/1 chance with BetVictor to give Channon a first Festival triumph.