Ultima and bet365 Gold Cup among spring targets for Corach Rambler | Horse racing news

Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

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Corach Rambler: could play the Ultima at the Cheltenham Festival

Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

A return to Cheltenham for the Ultima Handicap Chase could be the next stop for the progressive Corach Rambler after his eye-catching fourth in the Classic Chase at Warwick on Saturday.

The Lucinda Russell-trained eight-year-old was ridden on a good track on the final circuit of the 3m5f handicap contest but responded valiantly to Derek Fox’s urgings, finishing well after last behind towering winner Eclair Surf.

Corach Rambler has scored at Aintree and Cheltenham in his two previous starts and looks to remain a fair potential hunter, with partner Russell’s assistant Peter Scudamore hoping he could be a Grand National contender in coming seasons.

Members can watch the Classic Chase replay here

However, the Ultima, for which he is a 33-1 shot, and the bet365 Gold Cup on the final day of the season at Sandown could be targets this spring.

Scudamore said: “We were disappointed he didn’t win, but realistically it was a really good run for a topweight novice. He was beaten by two of the form horses and ran a great race.

“Once you get to that level the handicapper dictates where you are and we know he’s not Arkle. He’s a fun horse and everyone says he’s quirky, but all he wants is to come into the lead late. That’s the way to ride it and Derek is brilliant at that.

“For a novice he jumped fantastically and that weight is probably telling in those big races over remaining distances.

“We will dream of arriving at Aintree with him one day, but this season we will probably go to Cheltenham for the Ultima, and the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown could be an option at the end of the season if the ground is right. The Scottish National could be another race that could suit him, but the timing of this season makes it difficult.

Classic Chase favorite Gericault Roque finished closest to Eclair Surf in 13 seconds, with trainer David Pipe thrilled with the ride. He is another to consider as a future national prospect.

Pipe said: “He ran a crack race just 17 days after his second in Mandarin so we are really happy. I’m not sure what happens next, he had two quick runs so we won’t see him for a while. We could watch the National for him a year, but it won’t be this year.

Read more . . .

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