Bullish Rowe prepares Tatenen for assault on Racing Post Chase

Richard Rowe has got Tatenen back to his best
Richard Rowe has got Tatenen back to his best

Goodwood toast to the retirement of Buckley

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Richard Rowe has confirmed his stable star Tatenen is on course for the Racing Post Chase.

The Grade 3 contest, which could feature top chasers such as What A Friend and Nacarat, takes place at Kempton on Saturday, February 26.

And Rowe reckons his seven-year-old charge has a great chance, despite the handicapper hitting him with a 13lb rise after he triumphed in a valuable race at Ascot last time out.

The West Sussex trainer said: ‘It’s the race we mentioned almost straight after Ascot and, even though he has been put up a fair chunk, if he reproduces what he did at Ascot he’d have every chance.’

Rowe welcomed Tatenen to his Storrington yard in the summer when the horse fell out of favour at Paul Nicholls’ powerbase.

He made an encouraging debut for Rowe when third behind Riverside Theatre – Nicky Henderson’s Aon Chase favourite and a leading fancy for the Ryanair Chase – at Kempton in November.

Two disappointing efforts followed and then, responding to a 6lb drop in the weights, he cruised to victory in the victorchandler.com Handicap Chase.

Tatenen was racing off a mark of 137 that day and is now rated 150.

If top-weight What A Friend lines up, Tatenen will carry 11st 3lb.

But the added burden does not scare Rowe, who believes a horse rated in the 150s will win the Grade 3 feature.

Tatenen is a 16/1 shot for the race, while stable-mate Burren Legend – who is also among the 39 entries – has been quoted at 50/1.

Just 24 hours after Tatenen goes for glory at Kempton, Fontwell hosts its richest card of the year.

The feature on Sunday, February 27, is the National Spirit Hurdle.

And the Grade 2 showdown is already being eyed by the trainers of Celestial Halo, Bensalem and two-times winner Lough Derg.

Fontwell’s general manager Phil Bell said: ‘The totesport.com National Spirit Hurdle is looking promising in terms of quality with Celestial Halo, Lough Derg and Bensalem all being aimed at the race.’