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Orphee Des Blins is among 21 entries for Friday's Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham

Updated: Saturday, 10 Nov 2012 23:24 | Comments

Velka Pardubicka winner set for Cheltenham

Orphee Des Blins, the emphatic winner of this year's Velka Pardubicka, features among 21 entries for the Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeplechase at Cheltenham on Friday.

The 10-year-old mare gave trainer Greg Wroblewski and jockey Jan Faltejsek the biggest successes of their careers as she made all for a decisive 16-length victory in the famous steeplechase at Pardubice in the Czech Republic on 13 October.

She is set to try and become the first winner of both the Velka Pardubicka and the  Cross Country Chase following a pair of agonising near misses for Czech-trained horses at Cheltenham.

Peruan was beaten a neck at The Open in 1997, while Registana took the wrong course when clear of the field at the same meeting in 2004.

Wroblewski revealed: "Orphee Des Blins is hopefully heading over to Britain on Tuesday evening. She is fine at the moment - she took her race in the Velka Pardubicka very well and recovered very quickly. I hope that she is in similar form and I hope that she can run well."

The level of racing in Britain and Ireland is very high and has been out of my reach until now" - Greg Wroblewski

"She won two shorter races very easily in the summer before we ran her over 5,800m (3m 5f) for her qualification race for the Velka Pardubicka in August.

"She was only third in that race, but we weren't sure about her staying the trip so I told the jockey to see if she could get home.

"I wasn't sure whether she would cope with the soft ground in the Velka Pardubicka because her other starts this season had been on a faster surface. The Velka Pardubicka is run on a very unique course - the grass was fine but the fields were very heavy.

"The most important thing in the Velka Pardubicka was Jan Faltejsek. He let Orphee Des Blins jump and gave her a long rein, so she could hold a rhythm throughout the whole race. She was able to go her own pace and it was a great day for us.

"We had a little bit of a dilemma as to whether we would bring her to Britain. We could have finished her season after the Velka Pardubicka with a glorious victory and it is bit of a risk to bringing her over to Cheltenham in case she doesn't run to the same form, but it is an interesting proposition.

"I have had runners in many countries but this will be my first runner in Britain. Chyszow was a star for me in Scandinavia - he won every race there and a Listed Hurdle at Baden Baden before running in the Breeders' Cup Steeplechase and the Colonial Cup in America in 1988.

"I never take horses anywhere where I don't think that they have a chance and I love to win, rather than just participate in races. The level of racing in Britain and Ireland is very high and has been out of my reach until now.

"Orphee Des Blins has beaten a couple of British and Ireland horses in the Velka Pardubicka and she set a quick time in the conditions, so I thought it was fair to give her a chance. I can remember Galileo coming over from Poland and winning at the Cheltenham Festival in 2002, so nothing is impossible."

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