Ruby Walsh believes Champagne Fever’s history over two miles bodes well for him ahead of next month’s Cheltenham Festival.
The eight-year-old recovered from a fall in January to win last time out at Gowran Park and although he is yet to be declared, his next outing is likely to come in the Queen Mother Champion Chase against the likes of Sprinter Sacre and Sire De Grugy.
Champagne Fever has an excellent record at the Festival, winning the Champion Bumper in 2012 before backing it up 12 months later with a victory in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
Despite losing his record with a runner-up finish in last year’s Arkle, the grey is still highly fancied ahead of next month’s meeting at Prestbury Park and Walsh admits the Willie Mullins trained-horse’s history over two miles means he is confident of riding him to more success.
“He’s in good form. Until he’s declared I suppose you never know, but that (Queen Mother) looks like where he’s going,” the Irishman told Racing UK. “There are a few class horses in there – Sprinter Sacre and Sire De Grugy. They are very good horses and both have had difficult campaigns.
“Dodging Bullets is the standard bearer and Mr Mole is a massive improver, but Champagne Fever’s record over two miles is very good – two from three and he was impressive last week so in what looks an open enough contest, he’d be a very good ride.”