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|Endeavour to take his chance in Cheltenham December feature|
David Pipe’s talented handicap chaser Great Endeavour looks as though he will be asked to live up to his name when he turns out for a major weekend feature for the third time in just four weeks in the Grade 3 Spinal Research the Atlantic 4 Gold Cup at Cheltenham on December 10, writes Elliot Slater.
The David Johnson-owned grey put up a tremendous performance on his seasonal reappearance on October 12 at Cheltenham races when routing a strong field to easily land the Grade 3 Paddy Power Gold Cup by seven-lengths from Quantitativeeasing (set to re-oppose on Saturday) over the distance of two-mile-five furlongs. Just a fortnight later the seven-year-old returned to the fray and stepped up in trip for the first time to three-and-a-quarter miles to tackle the prestigious Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury and held every chance going to the last only for his stamina to fail him in the final furlong on the flat. Even so, his fourth place finish to the smart Carruthers was another fine effort.
Most observers had expected Pipe to give the gelded son of Great Palm a break before coming back to bid for one of a number of possible targets at the Cheltenham Festival in March – he is 12/1 ante-post favourite for the Centenary Plate and is a 14/1 chance for the Ryanair Chase – but the Nicholashayne handler reports his charge to have come out of the Newbury race in fine shape and is looking forward to running him at Cheltenham on Saturday where he will bid to land a famous big handicap chase double off a 10lb higher mark than when successful over course and distance last month.
Great Endeavour is a general 8/1 joint-second favourite for the ‘December’ Gold Cup along with Ghizao, whilst punters have made his old rival Quantitativeeasing, trained by Nicky Henderson, the current 7/1 market leader.