Cheltenham possible alternative for Gerri Colombe

The Cotswolds Chase at Cheltenham has been touted as a possible alternative for Gerri Colombe if he does not take up his expected engagement in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown over the Christmas period.

Gerri Colombe.
Gerri Colombe. Picture: PA

A five time winner over fences, the Gordon Elliott-trained Gerri Colombe finished second in the Grade 1 Browns Advisory Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival behind The Real Whacker, who travelled well for a long way under top weight before pulling up on seasonal reappearance in the Paddy Power Gold Cup.

Gerri Colombe followed up with a success in the Grade 1 Mildmay Novices' Chase at Aintree and made a victorious return to action in the Grade 1 Ladbrokes Champion Chase at Down Royal, beating Ryanair Chase winner Envoi Allen.

The seven-year-old is likely to head to Leopardstown next for the Grade 1 Savills Chase. 

"He's in the Savills and that will be depending on ground. If the ground is safe he would go there, but if not he could go to Cheltenham at the end of January. We have all those options," said Elliott. 

"He doesn't actually mind nice ground, but you wouldn't want to be chancing it at that time of year.

"He will have come on an awful lot for Down Royal. He's only been back cantering since the middle of September and Jack [Kennedy] said he was proper blowing. There will be loads of improvement in him.

"I was impressed with him by the line, but my heart was in my mouth. Speaking to Jack after you would have to be happy. I suppose the one thing he has is the will to win. He wants to win and that is a great attribute to have, you know."

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