Turf Talk: Channon mulling over Somersby’s options

Somersby, ridden by Dominic Elsworth.
Somersby, ridden by Dominic Elsworth.
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THE Tingle Creek at Sandown and the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon are under consideration for Somersby following his fine effort behind Sprinter Sacre at Cheltenham on Sunday.

It is over two years since the admirable 11-year-old last tasted victory, in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter, but he has run some excellent races in defeat since, most notably filling the runner-up spot in last season’s Queen Mother Champion Chase.

Somersby was no match for a resurgent Sprinter Sacre in the Shloer Chase, but trainer Mick Channon is in no doubt that his inmate retains plenty of ability and enthusiasm.

He said: “I’m delighted with the old boy as he’s in very good form and in great heart.

“There’s not a lot you can say when you bump into Sprinter Sacre in that sort of form and we’ll have a think about where we go now.

“That race on Sunday was his race, really. A year ago Sprinter Sacre wouldn’t have been running, but what can you do?

“We’ll look at the Tingle Creek (December 5) and there’s the Peterborough Chase the following day, as well.

“I think he might get a bit further now he’s getting older.

“He’s come out of the race on Sunday really well – he’s a happy horse.”

Channon entered the Cheltenham winner’s enclosure last Friday as an excellent ride from Nina Carberry helped Knock House gain a narrow victory in an amateur riders’ handicap chase.

“We were delighted with him and there are a few options for him,” said the West Ilsley handler.

“I believe there’s a race at Aintree, although that might come too soon, and there’s also a race at Ascot on December 19.

“He’s rated 145 now, so we’ll see where we go. I wouldn’t want to run him again for a few weeks.

“He’s not a big horse but he’s tough.”