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Funambule Sivola sets eyes on Queen Mother Champion Chase after Game Spirit joy at Newbury

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Venetia Williams believes two miles is the trip best suited to Funambule Sivola after victory in the Betfair Exchange Game Spirit at Newbury.

The seven-year-old finished two-lengths clear of Sceau Royal, while Hitman and Sky Pirate made up the other two places with only four horses taking the field in the Grade 2 race.

Funambule Sivola will now have a crack at the Queen Mother Champion Chase, facing rivals such as Shishkin and Energumene, and Williams is ready for the challenge.

Funambule Sivola clears the fence
Funambule Sivola clears the fence

“It is quite clear that it is the route we should take for the immediate future,” she said. “He is a small horse, but he is such an intelligent jumper and not only that, he is so quick.

“I thought, what with the ground drying which is what it was going to do all week, that this fella was going to handle it and he is not short of pace.

“I try to avoid having any expectations, but he’s fulfilled hopes let us put it that way.”

Charlie Deutsch is having a brilliant season, winning his first Grade 1 on L’Homme Presse in the Scilly Isles Novices' Chase at Sandown last week, and Williams was thrilled for him too.

“Charlie has been with me for quite some time and we get on really well.

“We see eye-to-eye in how we like the horses to be ridden and it’s great to see it work out.”

Funambule Sivola won the Game Spirit
Funambule Sivola won the Game Spirit

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