The pair teamed as much as take the prize in 2004 with the preferred Monkerhostin.
Champagne West, a 10-1 probability with maximum bookmakers, has but to run this season however confirmed some helpful shape in amateur chases ultimate marketing campaign, maximum particularly when 2d to Ptit Zig within the Grade Two Dipper Freshmen’ Chase at Cheltenham in January.
“Champagne West used to be a top elegance amateur remaining season,” stated Johnson. “He’s gained two times round Cheltenham and turns out in nice order at house and gained’t thoughts the bottom.
“Philip has additionally entered Village Vic who has been in nice shape this time period and we’re hopeful he’s nonetheless going the correct means.
“It’s the very best race for either one of them and it’s clearly great to have two respectable probabilities. It’s only a disgrace they’re in the similar race.”
The primary 3 house in final month’s Paddy Energy Gold Cup – Annacotty, Buywise and Sound Funding – are heading in the right direction to resume contention within the two mile 4 furlong tournament.
The Paul Nicholls-trained Sound Funding, who completed a size and 1 / 4 3rd at the back of Annacotty, is about to hold topweight of 11st 12lb, with the Paddy Energy victor passed 11st 2lb as he bids to finish the double.
Buywise additionally carries 11st 2lb and bids to opposite a half-length deficit with Annacotty.
Cheltenham Pageant winner Irish Cavalier, who led the Paddy Energy box during the last fence sooner than fading into 6th, heads Coral’s having a bet at 6-1, with fresh Newbury scorer Little Jon and Sound Funding subsequent excellent at Eight-1.
At 10-1 Champagne West is the worth guess.
Johnson believes Sire De Grugy continues to be a participant within the Queen Mom Champion Chase on the Cheltenham Pageant following his go back to shape in Saturday’s Betfair Tingle Creek at Sandown.
Winner of the Champion Chase in 2014, Sire De Grugy did not make his mark at Cheltenham and Aintree remaining season and went into Sandown at the again of a lacklustre show within the Haldon Gold Cup.
On the other hand, he confirmed the hearth nonetheless burns brightly within the Tingle Creek and used to be reduce right into a best-priced 16-1 to regain his crown at Cheltenham in March.
“I feel Sire De Grugy is up there with anything this present day,” stated Johnson. “Un De Sceaux is the only they’re all aiming at, however he has to give a boost to. Sire De Grugy will have to be there or thereabouts come March.
“The Tingle Creek gave the impression to be run at an actual two mile-championship tempo. It gave the impression of a just right race, respectable horses like Mr Mole couldn’t are living with the tempo.”
Sire De Grugy needed to live to tell the tale a stewards’ inquiry after leaping left on the ultimate fence and colliding into runner-up Particular Tiara, however Johnson believes the stewards reached the correct verdict.
“What came about on the final fence used to be unlucky, however there used to be no intent there,” he added. “Sire De Grugy all the time jumps just a little to the left.
“In case you owned or educated the second one, you’d be somewhat disillusioned however, even if it stopped his momentum, I don’t assume it value him the race. It used to be proper to go away the outcome because it used to be.”
Supply : EXPRESS