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    Fry Leaning Towards Champion Chase Opportunity for Boothill
Fry Leaning Towards Champion Chase Opportunity for Boothill
Image courtesy of Sporting Life 

Fry Leaning Towards Champion Chase Opportunity for Boothill

Trainer favours Grade One Challenge over Heavy Grand Annual Duty. 

Harry Fry is contemplating the prospect of Boothill entering the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, despite the star chaser approaching the Cheltenham Festival following two recent falls.

Securing victories in seven out of 17 starts, the nine-year-old has excelled in Grade Two competitions over fences and began the current season impressively by clinching two valuable Ascot handicaps at a two-mile distance.

Adverse weather conditions prevented him from participating in the Tingle Creek at Sandown. Nevertheless, he has returned to more challenging contests in his most recent outings, failing to complete both the Desert Orchid at Kempton and Newbury’s Game Spirit Chase this month.

Despite Boothill's recent jumping mishaps, Fry remains confident in his abilities. Rather than shouldering the top-weight burden in the Grand Annual, Fry leans towards allowing his charge to tackle the main event of Wednesday's Festival proceedings. The race is expected to feature formidable competitors like El Fabiolo and Jonbon.

Reflecting on Boothill's recent performances, Fry commented,

“He's in good spirits following his run at Newbury, and we're still focused on Cheltenham, despite some setbacks in his last two races". 
“While we acknowledge the challenging conditions at Newbury, Boothill's fall at Kempton was our final chance to race, and we aimed for a clear round as preparation". 

Unfortunately, the heavy ground at Newbury proved taxing for Boothill, as Johnny Burke, his jockey, noted that fatigue impacted his performance. Fry explained,

“The heavy ground affected his breathing, causing him to make a tired error approaching the second-to-last fence. His usual surefootedness was compromised". 

Facing the decision between the Champion Chase and the Grand Annual with top-weight, Fry expressed a preference for the former, citing potentially improved ground conditions as a factor.

“While victory is not guaranteed, a strong showing in the Champion Chase could yield positive results,”

he added.

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