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Valdez - Doncaster 25.1.14

Valdez on his way to winning at Doncaster on Saturday

  PICTURE: Martin Lynch (  

King targeting Arkle with Doncaster winner Valdez

VALDEZ'S Cheltenham Festival target will be the Racing Post Arkle following his victory in the Grade 2 Lightning Novices' Chase at Doncaster, trainer Alan King has revealed.

King was debating between the Arkle and Grand Annual for the seven-year-old, who provided a first winner of the year for the yard, but Saturday's three-and-a-quarter length victory has tipped him towards the Grade 1.

Now back on track having shut up shop for the majority of the month with his runners not performing as expected, King thinks Valdez will improve for sounder underfoot conditions.

Speaking on his website, the trainer said: "You don't often see Doncaster ride as soft as that, and I think Valdez will be more effective on better ground.

"But I was just glad to get him back. He was only just ready to run after all our hold-ups, but he has gone and done the job well and it will be Cheltenham next stop.

"We have the Grand Annual as Plan B, but I would like to go for the Arkle."

Valdez is available at 14-1 for the Arkle, for which Champagne Fever is the 4-1 market leader.

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