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Bee sights set on Champion crown

Captain Cee Bee is likely to take up his entry in the Queen Mother Champion Chase rather than the Ryanair at Cheltenham in March.

Eddie Harty gave his 10-year-old the safety net of the longer race but in light of recent results a run in the two-mile championship is now favourite.

"Touch wood everything is going perfectly at the moment. He looks good and it's fingers crossed for a clean run up to Cheltenham. He won't run before then. He'll go straight there and he's got entries in the Queen Mother and Ryanair, but it's probably going to be the Champion Chase," said Harty.

With current champion Big Zeb losing to Golden Silver in the Tied Cottage on Sunday and Master Minded being pushed to a short-head by Somersby in the Victor Chandler Chase, Harty believes the Queen Mother has an open look to it.

Captain Cee Bee was last seen finishing fourth to Big Zeb over Christmas but Harty was quick to put a line through that run in heavy ground.

The handler continued: "It looks more open this year. I was initially disappointed with our lad last time, but in hindsight it wasn't that bad a run given it was his first time against the big boys.

"He'd been held up by the weather and he was still in contention going to the last so it wasn't that bad a run. There's no disgrace losing to Big Zeb and Golden Silver.

"He doesn't have to find much to have a chance there and it does look open this year - nothing looks invincible. The ground should be in his favour come March too."

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