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UNIONISTE Cheltenham 15-12-12.

Unioniste: looked a star of the future at Cheltenham in December

  PICTURE: Martin Lynch (  

Nicholls: three miles should suit Unioniste

UNIONISTE, hugely impressive in a Grade 3 handicap at Cheltenham in December, will test his RSA Chase credentials on Saturday at Newbury over 3m, a distance  over which trainer Paul Nicholls cannot wait to see him run.

Owned by John Hales, Unioniste hacked up over 2m5f in the Paul Stewart Ironspine Charity Challenge Gold Cup and tries 3m for the first time in a novice chase on Saturday.

He is entered in three races at the Cheltenham Festival - the RSA Chase (over 3m½f), the Jewson (2m4f) and the Ryanair (2m5f) - but Nicholls will see how Newbury goes before firming up plans.

"Unioniste runs at Newbury on Saturday and then we will make a plan but I always thought three miles would suit him very well," said the champion trainer.

Read an ante-post Pricewise special on the RSA Chase in Tuesday's Racing Post - download the digital edition or get the paper on your iPad

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