Harry Whittington tasted Grade 1 glory at Aintree a couple of seasons ago when Arzal won at Aintree's Grand National meeting. The Oxfordshire based handler appears to have another high-class novice chaser on his hands with French recruit Saint Calvados. A three times winner over hurdles in France, he was bought by owner Andrew Brooks and initially sent to Venetia Williams in the summer. However, he was transferred to his current yard and made a fine British debut at Newbury this afternoon. Racing off a mark of 143 on his fencing bow in a novices' handicap chase, he jumped his rivals to sleep (two of them fell down the backstraight) before recording a nine lengths win. Effective over two and two and a quarter miles, his connections mentioned the Grade 1 Scilly Isles Novice Chase at Sandown (3rd February) afterwards and he will doubtless be given entries in the Arkle and JLT Novice Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. Featured in the French Revolution section of One Jump Ahead, he looks an exciting prospect.
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