Cheltenham return for Tour Des

New trainer Sam Drinkwater would love to take Tour Des Champs to the Cheltenham Festival after the horse gave him a noteworthy success at the home of jumps racing on New Year's Day.

Tour Des Champs could return to Cheltenham in March

The Festival Handicap Chase is the race at which Drinkwater would like to aim the 10-year-old, though he would also love to run him in the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree.

Tour Des Champs was only Drinkwater's sixth runner since the former amateur jockey set up training when the 50-1 shot took the BetBright-sponsored handicap chase by a short head from Doctor Harper.

It was the 26-year-old's second winner after Working Title scored at Sedgefield on Boxing Day.

"I've just got to keep it going now, but it's a difficult game," said Drinkwater, who is based at Strensham, in Worcestershire.

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"I'm going to stay level-headed and make sure I work hard. I've only got 10 horses in training. I've got room for 20 horses at the minute and have room to expand at a later date.

"I thought he did it very well on Sunday and hoped he could put our name out there.

"He's come out of the race well. I'd love to get him into the Grand National, but nowadays you've got to be at least 143-144 to get in.

"He won off 134 and is likely to go up about 5lb or 6lb for that. It's a stepping stone.

"I'd like to take him back for the Festival for what used to be called the William Hill Handicap Chase. It would nice to get him in there.

"That will probably be his next step as I don't want to run him again before that. He just likes to be really fresh and have a nice space between his runs."

Drinkwater picked up Tour Des Champs from out of the Nigel Twiston-Davies stable.

"The horse came up for sale and I just thought he was one we could afford of those few we were offered. I'm glad we went for him now," he said.

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