Bolster bolsters initial entries for Racing Plus Chase

David Bridgewater’s exiting chaser The Giant Bolster was one of the more eye-catching entries at the initial stage for the Group 3 Racing Plus Chase, the high-quality three-mile handicap event formerly known as the Racing Post Chase and set to be staged once again at Kempton Park on February 25, writes Elliot Slater.

Although by no means a certain starter, The Giant Bolster’s presence among the 47 entries indicates the prestige associated with this popular contest, a race that has been won over the years by the likes of the great Desert Orchid and Grand National winners Rhyme ‘N Reason and Rough Quest. With only last season’s Arkle Chase winner Captain Chris rated higher that Bridgewater’s stable star. There must be a doubt that the seven-year-old will make the starting line-up only three weeks before the Cheltenham Festival where the gelded son of Black Sam Bellamy has a range of targets including in the Grade 1 Cheltenham Gold Cup, although he is a real outsider in the Betfair Gold Cup betting.

After a frustrating time last season when The Giant Bolster fell in a number of decent races when appearing to hold a chance. This season has seen more of an upward curve that began with a rock-solid seventh place finish behind Carruthers in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury in November. A pleasing runner-up to Time For Rupert in a graduation chase back at Newbury three weeks later. He then ran his rivals ragged in the Grade 3 Murphy Group Handicap chase at Cheltenham in late-January, making all and eventually coming home a massive 17-lengths clear of course specialist Poquelin. Those following the Cheltenham 2012 betting will be monitoring his next race closely.

His latest success has seen The Giant Bolster’s mark raised to 160, a hike of no less than 15lbs, but if he does run at Kempton and is in the same mood as Cheltenham, even that massive weight rise might not stop Bridgewater’s charge notching up another high profile success. 

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