Image reproduced with the kind permission of Sandown Park Racecourse

Kim Bailey is happy to send Charbel straight for the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival after sidestepping Ascot on Saturday.

The Gloucestershire trainer reports the seven-year-old’s preparation to be going swimmingly but felt the ground for the Clarence House Chase would not have been suitable.

Bailey would love Charbel to be at his prime in his bid to atone for last year’s fall at the second-last fence in the Arkle Trophy when still setting the pace ahead of eventual winner Altior.

“The plan was to run in the Clarence House Chase but we made the decision that the ground was too soft,” said Bailey.

“He ran a blinder in the Tingle Creek where he didn’t jump great at a few. He goes straight to Cheltenham now.

“He wants good ground and he is a horse that runs well fresh. His work this week I’ve been happy with and he is in very good form.”