Cheltenham Festival 2018

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There are three meetings taking place this afternoon with jumps cards from Leicester and Plumpton as well as an all-weather flat card from Wolverhampton.  David has two runners today at Leicester; Red Square Revival and Delface.  Red Square Revival contests the 2m6½f handicap chase at 12.50pm having won last time out at Plumpton.  He does not look too badly treated from a 3lbs higher mark and the trip looks as though it will suit him down to the ground - he is a 7/2 chance and should go close under Tom Scu.  Delface (pictured above) runs in the 1m7½f handicap hurdle at 1.50pm having shown a good attitude to score at Ffos Las on his stable debut.  A mark of 119 does not leave an awful lot of room for manoeuvre and he probably has Irish raider High Expectations to beat but he should go well nonetheless.

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     Rathlin Rose runs at Fontwell Today

There are just two meetings today, both jumps cards at Cheltenham and Fontell.  David has runners at both tracks.  Rathlin Rose runs in the 2.05pm at Fontwell, a 3m3f handicap chase.  It is a big race and it is his first run of the season but he won a couple of times last season and even with a big weight we expect a big run.  David Noonan rides.  David also runs Great Tempon in the 2.40pm handicap hurdle over 2m1f.  He has some form last season and with 10st 6lb on his back he could also run well with David Noonan in the saddle.  You may remember he was Gerry Supple's mount in the charity race a last month and so hopefully that second place will have put him spot on for this afternoon.  At Cheltenham David has one runner, Vaniteux in the 2.25pm Grade 2 chase over 1m7f .  We are a big price at 14/1 and it is a very competitive race.  Fox Norton in a hot favourite at 6/5 for the Tizzard yard and he has the best form on show but Vaniteux is a very good horse and we hope he can run well.

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There was another good day for the stable yesterday when What A Moment ran out a thrilling winner of the amateur riders' handicap chase on the first day of Cheltenham's November meeting.  In so doing, our gelding was winning the race for the second year running under Richard Harding despite a 5lbs higher mark.  He looked likely to score by a wide margin turning for home, but he was idling in the straight as the others closed fast on the flat meaning he had ½ length in hand at the line.  The £13,000 prize money was certainly worth winning and it was a great way to start the meeting at which the stable has always done so well.  Meanwhile, Tom Scu was on the mark in the cross country chase for his brother so it was a good day all round - indeed, it was probably one of the best rides of Tom's career...not bad considering he says he doesn't like those races!

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It was a good day for the yard at Taunton yesterday with the ready success of Tobacco Road in the 2m handicap hurdle.  He has been running on the level during the summer but was certainly ready to go on this first start back after a little break.  He was winning here from a mark of 98 and judging by this he can win again so long as the handicapper is not too harsh.  Meanwhile, Midnight Magic certainly improved a great deal for the step up in trip on his handicap debut, finishing a close-up third.  He may very well have gone even closer but for a bad blunder at the penultimate flight and looks as though he can win races, again handicapper permitting.

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There are four meetings taking place this afternoon with jumps cards from Taunton and Ludlow as well as flat action from Southwell and Chelmsford City.  David has four runners at our local track of Taunton; Tis What It Is, Midnight Magic, Tobacco Road and Lady Of Longstone.  Tis What It Is has shown fair placed form in bumpers at Worcester and Ffos Las but will need to step up again to land the maiden hurdle (at 1.35pm) in which there are a number of promising contenders and David Noonan is in the saddle.  Midnight Magic contests the 3m handicap hurdle at 2.05pm - our five year old has shown flashes of abililty and hopefully a step-up in trip will bring further improvement today.  Tobacco Road reverts to hurdles in the 2.35pm race having been campaigned on the flat.  He has some decent placed form to his name and will appreciate the good ground - Tom Scu is aboard.  Our final runner is Lady Of Longstone in the 3.10pm race - she has run two good race to finish runner-up recently and is now 3lbs higher.  Even so, she remains well-treated on her best form and is not without a chance under regular rider Michael Heard.

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There are four meetings taking place this afternoon with jumps cards from Bangor, Exeter and Ayr as well as an all-weather fixture from Newcastle.  David has three runners at Exeter today; Aero Majestic, Saint John Henry and Timeforben.  Aero Majestic contests the 2m7f handicap hurdle at 12.50pm - he was placed in an Irish point-to-point and now runs in his first handicap over timber from a mark of 110.  He has shaped with promise and has each way claims at likely odds of around 8/1.  Saint John Henry (pictured above) was a revelation over fences at Chepstow on his chase debut and hopefully he can build on that from a 6lbs higher mark - another big run is expected.  Timeforben is our final runner in the mares' novices' hurdle over 2m2½f - a winner of an Irish point, she shaped with promise on her rules debut in a Newton Abbot bumper and this track should be more to her liking - she is another who should go well.  Tom Scudamore rides all three of our runners today.

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This afternoon there are three meetings taking place and they are all jumps cards.  The action comes from Lingfield, Huntingdon and Worcester and David has runners at Lingfield and Worcester.  Old favourite Purple 'N Gold runs in the 2.30pm race at Worcester - a 2m4f handicap hurdle where he is partnered by amateur jockey Rex Dingle who claims a handy 7lbs off his back.  He went back up the 5lbs he was dropped for finishing a close fourth last time out at Taunton but remains on a much lower handicap mark than over fences so he is not without  a chance.  Meanwhile, Tom Scudamore goes to Lingfield where he rides Gabrial The Great (pictured above) in the 2m3½f handicap hurdle.  He has the ability to go well in a race of this nature although he probably wouldn't want too much more rain.

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