Open option for Top Gamble
Kerry Lee could run Top Gamble and Gassin Golf at The Open, which takes place at Cheltenham on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 11-13.
Top Gamble could reappear at Cheltenham
The Herefordshire handler enjoyed a superb first campaign after taking over the licence from her father Richard, gaining big-race victories and a first Grade One success.
Top Gamble readily beat the 2015 Champion Chase winner Dodging Bullets over an extended two miles at Newbury in February before ending his season with further Grade Two success over a similar trip at Fairyhouse's Easter Festival.
The eight-year-old has been entered in the feature £160,000 BetVictor Gold Cup over an extended two and a half miles on Saturday, November 12, for which he is a 20/1 chance with the race sponsor, and will also be given the option of the two-mile £75,000 Shloer Chase 24 hours later.
Lee commented: "Top Gamble is rated 160 and would be top-weight in the BetVictor Gold Cup, which would be a big ask. He will also have an entry in the Shloer Chase and we will see what happens over the next couple of weeks.
"He has run very well over two and a half miles in the past, including when conceding a lot of weight to Village Vic in a handicap chase at Cheltenham on New Year's Day last season.
"The Shloer Chase would be a different kind of race for him but we will wait and see what the ground is like, which is very important to him, and what else turns up."
Gassin Golf was pulled up on his only appearance last season, at Chepstow in October, 2015, but the seven-year-old could line up in the £100,000 G3 StanJames.com Greatwood Handicap Hurdle on Sunday, November 13.
The son of Montjeu was rated 92 on the Flat and has shown a high level of form over hurdles. He gained a comfortable win at Newbury in March, 2015 and has also posted two excellent efforts in the Imperial Cup at Sandown Park, finishing a close third in 2015 and filling the runner-up sport in 2014.
Lee added: "Gassin Golf missed most of last season with an injury but he is great order at the moment and has some very good form in handicap hurdles.
"He likes the hustle and bustle of a big field and has run particularly well in the Imperial Cup.
"Cheltenham ticks all the boxes for him with the uphill finish, but he is a horse coming back from injury and needs cut in the ground.
"He is at his best on softer ground – it was good to soft when he won at Newbury and his two runs in the Imperial Cup were on the softer side.
"He is a very nice horse to have in the yard and we are looking forward to a fun season with him.
"We have all sorts of options with him but, if he got into the Greatwood and everything fell right, we wouldn't shy away from the race."
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