Cheltenham options open for Kempton scorer Mister Fisher

Mister Fisher has two potential Cheltenham Festival targets after his taking Grade Two Silviniaco Conti victory at the weekend.

The eight-year-old made his seasonal debut in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day but was pulled up by rider Sean Bowen before the third fence from home.

A return to the same track on Saturday produced an entirely different result, however, with the gelding this time seemingly in his element as he jumped faultlessly under James Bowen to cross the line a length and three-quarters ahead of runner-up Eldorado Allen.

James Potter, who owns the horse under the James and Jean Potter Ltd banner, was thrilled to see him back on form and praised the efforts of trainer Nicky Henderson and his team.

“It was fantastic to see Mister Fisher win the Grade Two Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton on Saturday,” he said.

“Nicky Henderson, along with all of the team involved at Seven Barrows, have done a brilliant job in getting him back to his best – especially Jan, who rides him every day, and his groom Sarah Shreeve.

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“He has always been a very high class horse, ever since he won a bumper on his racecourse debut, and seemed to really enjoy himself on Saturday when jumping and travelling with great fluency under a wonderful ride by James Bowen, who rode him with such confidence.”

Mister Fisher after his Kempton triumph
Mister Fisher after his Kempton triumph (Steven Paston/PA)

Though Mister Fisher’s King George bid ended prematurely, connections took heart from the performance and were buoyant ahead of his run in the Silviniaco Conti, a race for which he started as the 15-8 favourite.

“He ran well in the Grade One King George on his first run of the season off the back of an interrupted preparation on ground which was against him, so we were pretty hopeful going into Saturday’s race,” Potter said.

The horse now holds entries for both the Ryanair Chase, a race he was pulled up in last season, and the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

His owners are keen for a Festival run but will ultimately leave Henderson to make the final call on which contest the seven-times winner will line up in.

“We will leave any decisions as to where he runs next to his trainer, but we would obviously love to go to Cheltenham and the Ryanair Chase would seem the most logical race,” Potter said.

Mister Fisher is run in the same silks as the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained mare Vienna Court, who was last seen winning the Grade Three New Year’s Day Handicap Chase at Cheltenham and will return to action at Huntingdon at the end of the month for the Lady Protectress Mares’ Chase.

“James and Jean Potter Ltd are in a very fortunate position at present because we also have Vienna Court, who has won twice at Cheltenham this season, and she runs at Huntington on January 28,” Potter said.

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