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Captain Chris

Age: 8

Trainer: Philip Hobbs

Notable Race Wins:-

Arkle Challenge Trophy: 2011

Ryanair Novice Chase (Punchestown): 2011

Pendil Novices' Chase: 2011

Captain Chris was a vast improver over fences as 2011 progressed and the Philip Hobbs-trained gelding showed his brilliance when reeling in Finian's Rainbow in the Arkle Challenge Trophy to take the novice chase crown by two-and-three quarter lengths.

A smart performer over hurdles, it took the Diana Whatelely-owned runner four races before getting off the mark over fences, but when he notched his first success in the Pendil Novices' Chase at Warwick the seven-year-old went from strength to strength.

Following a top class ride from Richard Johnson in the Cheltenham Festival contest, he then ventured over the Irish Sea and duly stormed to victory at the Punchestown Festival in the Ryanair Novice Chase.

A proven performer over an array of distances, Captain Chris will certainly have Hobbs licking his lips over potential races for one of his stable stars.  An obvious one is the Queen Mother Champion Chase in which he is at the forefront of the bookmaker's ante-post market, but there's always the chance that he could head for the Ryanair Chase over 2m 5f and he is even in the market for the Cheltenham Gold Cup on the final day of the festival.

With all these potential openings, Captain Chris is certainly one for the notebook and it will be interesting to see what route the son of King's Theatre will take in the 2011/2012 season.

Potential Races for 2011/2012 Season

Queen Mother Champion Chase

Ryanair Chase

Cheltenham Gold Cup

Other National Hunt Horses to Follow

Form for 2011/2012 Season

  • 01/11/11 - Haldon Gold Cup - Exeter (UR - SP 2/1 Fav) - A fairly uninspiring effort first time out from Captain Chris in the Haldon Gold Cup left followers of him perplexed.  Struggling to go with the classy Medermit with half-a-mile to go, he eventually picked up the bit with two fences to go and responded to Richard Johnson's urgings.  However, just as he was to challenge for the lead he duly ballooned the last fence and sent Johnson out the side door to start off the new campaign in shaky style.
  • 26/12/11 - King George VI Chase - Kempton Park (3rd of 7 - SP 8/1) - It was always going to be a tough assignment to live with Kauto Star and Long Run in the King George, but Captain Chris certainly showed signs of being able to compete the with the top class staying chasers.  He may have finished a distant third, but Philip Hobbs would've been buoyed by the way he stayed with his first race at 3m and the step up may suit in the Gold Cup and if he can improve his jumping will definitely be a player.
  • 28/01/12 - Argento Chase - Cheltenham (PU - SP 4/1) - Captain Chris was sent to the Argento Chase to try and lay down his Cheltenham Gold Cup credentials, but he ran an absolute stinker and was pulled before halfway.  Jumping violently to his right throughout, he made a plethora of errors over his fences and Richard Johnson elected to pulll the horse up and hopefully intense schooling will rebuild his confidence.
  • 15/03/12 - Ryanair Chase - Cheltenham (4th of 12 - SP 10/1) - Captain Chris produced a much more accomplished display and was shaping like a potential challenger in the Ryanair Chase, but he couldn't quite live with Riverside Theatre, bu Philip Hobbs would've been buoyed by his performance.  He jumped out to his right on some occasions, but it was a pleasing effort in an extremely hot race.