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Bailey ponders Festival choicePosted on Thursday 16th February 2017 @ 11.53

Trainer Kim Bailey says he is deliberating which race Charbel will have a crack at when the 2017 Cheltenham Festival gets underway.

Charbel produced a brilliant performance to win the Kalahari King Beginners' Chase at Uttoxeter back in October last year, fending off the Paul Nicholls-trained Le Prezien by three-quarters-of-a-length.

The six-year-old followed that victory up with a runners-up finish at Sandown at the start of December when failing to chase down Nicky Henderson's impressive Altior.

Bailey was hoping for his charge to have one more outing before the meeting at Prestbury Park next month but he has revealed there is no opportunity for a run-out now, leaving a tricky decision to make on which race Charbel will go into at Cheltenham.

"I wanted to get a race into him at Market Rasen on Sunday but we can't do that so we are slightly stuffed really," he said, as quoted by Sporting Life. "We've not made our mind up which race we will go to, it will either be the Arkle or the JLT.

"He is favourite for the Grand Annual with some but he is not qualified for that.

"The plan, though, is to go to the Festival and if he is in good form he runs. If he doesn't get there we have got Aintree and we've got Punchestown."

Article Posted on Thursday 16th February 2017 @ 11.53

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