Fergie has Festival contender
Sir Alex Ferguson is due to be on hand to see his runner I'm Fraam Govan in Wednesday's Weatherbys Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival.
The five-year-old features among 35 confirmations for the Grade One heat, with trainer George Baker's eyes firmly set on the prize.
An impressive victor over subsequent Listed hurdles winner and Grade One-placed runner Easter Day on his racecourse bow last May, I'm Fraam Govan was only fifth as an odds-on favourite on his reappearance at Lingfield in January.
However, Baker felt the all-weather track was not quite to the gelding's liking that day and retains plenty of faith in his Festival contender.
"The plan is to go to Cheltenham next week," said the Wiltshire handler.
"His last run was very disappointing but hopefully it was just a blip.
"They had been harrowing the track a bit deeper than they did that day for the jumpers for bumpers meetings and the surface was just a bit too quick for him.
"He just didn't let himself down on the ground and I think it's best to put a line through that and judge him on his first run at Worcester.
"He was a hard-held winner over Easter Day on that occasion and that form has worked out well.
"The plan was always to put him away after that and miss the summer ground before coming back for Cheltenham.
"We did think about running him again after that last outing but after talking to (handicapper) Phil Smith, we decided not to as he seemed to think he was likely to get in without another run.
"Nicky Henderson kindly invited us to his gallops on Monday after we couldn't work at Newbury and he did a lovely piece of work there.
"The owner is attending on Wednesday and hopefully we can put a smile on his face.
"It's a huge ask to win one of these championship event but it's just lovely to be involved and hopefully he can run well."
Aidan O'Brien's Shield, ante-post favourite Golantilla and leading home hope Empiracle all feature.
Shield booked his ticket with a win at Leopardstown last Sunday and could be O'Brien's first Cheltenham runner since the triple Champion Hurdle hero Istabraq pulled up in his defence of the race in 2002.
The Tony Martin-trained Golantilla was a winner at Cork in January, when in the care of Sean O'Brien, while Jeremy Scott's Empiracle has not run since breezing home at Huntingdon last October.
Willie Mullins has his usual clutch of entries to choose from, including leading fancy Union Dues, although big-money recruit Moyle Park is not among the possibles.
Liz Doyle's Le Vent D'Antan and the Anthony Honeyball-trained Regal Encore also stand their ground.
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