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Mon Jul 24
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Thu Jul 27
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Fri Jul 28
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Cheltenham Festival 2018

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Entries & Recent Form

With Cheltenham now less than 24 hours away I hope you will forgive me for something of an abridged blog – we are all declared for the first day, although we still have the remainder of the week to sort out. With a winner and four seconds from a limited number of runners last week, I am satisfied that the horses enter the most important week of our calendar in good heart.

Of course, the big news is that we have decided to take the Champion Hurdle route with Moon Racer tomorrow rather than take on his fellow novices in the Supreme. As we all know, Moon Racer has a tremendous amount of ability but he is extremely fragile and he is already eight years of age. With several other leading contenders sadly on the sidelines, including the last two winners of the race, we felt that Moon Racer warranted his chance.

We will have three other runners tomorrow with Un Temps Pour Tout aiming to retain his Ultima Chase crown. He was a convincing winner last year but will need to be at his best from a higher mark and under the burden of top weight. He seems to come to into his own at this time of year and is in good order at home, while the drying ground may also be in his favour.

Champers On Ice and What A Moment contest the National Hunt Chase for amateur jockeys over four miles. Roger Quinlan will be partnering Champers On Ice who was an excellent third to Unowhatimeanharry in last season’s Albert Bartlett hurdle and looks as though he will be suited by this extreme test of stamina. What A Moment will be ridden by Richard Harding who was on board when successful at the track in November and he is another who should appreciate the trip.

On to Wednesday and we are likely to have only one runner with Poker Play an intended runner in the Fred Winter juvenile handicap hurdle.

Later in the week Starchitect is an intended runner in the Brown Advisory handicap chase on Thursday, while Doctor Harper could run in the Kim Muir or wait for the Midlands National at Uttoxeter on Saturday. I also plan to run exciting ex-French filly Magie du Ma in the Triumph Hurdle on Friday. There are plenty of others to sort out in the handicaps and for the latest news on those, do keep up to date with Chester’s Daily Chat or follow us on Twitter @DavidPipeRacing.

I am pleased to bring you our final pre-Cheltenham interview with conditional jockey David Noonan as he spoke with Mike Vince about his hopes for the week ahead. Many thanks to Mike once again for his continued hard work and expertise – it is very much appreciated. Click on the image below to view the video…

Finally, there were more emotional scenes last week at Sandown as Rathlin Rose (pictured top) bought up a famous double when adding the Grand Military Gold Cup to his earlier Royal Artillery success under the incredible Captain Guy Disney. The reception from everyone present was amazing and I am thrilled to have played just a small part in this remarkable story.

I hope you enjoy the Cheltenham Festival over the coming days. I like most trainers would be delighted with just one winner, although the most important thing is that all horses and jockey’s return in one piece. The waiting is nearly over!...

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