Cheltenham Festival 2018

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This afternoon there are just three meetings taking place with jumps cards from Kempton and Carlisle as well as an all-weather flat fixture from Southwell.  There are no runners from Pond House this afternoon, although stable jockey Tom Scudamore makes the long journey up to Carlisle where he has picked up a couple of decent looking outside mounts.  Kempton have put on some good prize money for a Monday afternoon and they will be disappointed to have a couple of chases that have only attracted two runners.  Indeed, you could have a nice school round and pick up £2,402 and £3,696 - something must be wrong with how these races are framed.

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There are just two meetings taking place this afternoon with jumps fixtures from Sandown and Ffos Las.  There are no runners from Pond House today although stable jockeys Tom Scudamore and David Noonan have both picked up a couple of spare rides at Sandown and Ffos Las respectively.

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This afternoon there are five meetings taking place with jumps cards from Aintree, Wincanton and Kelso as well as flat cards from Doncaster and Wolverhampton.  David has two runners at Wincanton this afternoon with It's Obvious and The Draconian both contesting the 1m7f novices' hurdle qualifier.  Tom Scudamore is aboard It's Obvious who makes his debut for the stable this afternoon having shown promise when runner-up in an Irish point-to-point - he is entitled to improve for the experience after an absence of 594 days.  The Draconian is another who is back from a lay-off and he would need to improve on what he has shown thus far to figure in what looks quite a hot little race.

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What a star Dell' Arca is!  He won the Pertemps qualifier with seemingly a bit in hand yesterday afternoon at Newbury.  That win was from a mark of 140 - and there I was saying that he could do with a bit of respite from the handicapper!  He seems to have been around for ages yet is still only 8 years old.  He is a versatile type who is effective over all distances and does have the option of going back over fences at some point.  It just goes to show, horses can make fools of you...sounds like a television show!  Irish Prince ran respectably on his racecourse debut in what was probably quite a deep bumper - with more experience and a greater test of stamina he will be winning races.

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There are four meetings taking place this afternoon with jumps cards from Newbury, Market Rasen and Ludlow, supported by a flat card from Chelmsford.  David has two runners at Newbury; Dell' Arca and Irish Prince.  Dell' Arca (pictured above) contests the 3 mile handicap hurdle at 1.10pm and continues to run well, including when a close fourth at Cheltenham last time out.  Yet another good run is expected, although he has nothing in hand from the handicapper from his current mark of 140.  Meanwhile, Irish Prince makes his racecourse debut in the bumper at 3.55pm.  He is well related and goes nicely at home but this looks a competitive race with 16 runners, even though 12 of those have never run before.  There aren't many poor bumpers at Newbury so there are bound to be plenty of future winners in the line-up.

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There are four meetings taking place this afternoon with flat cards from Nottingham and Kempton as well as jumps fixtures from Chepstow and Musselburgh.  David has two runners at Chepstow; Daklondike and Tigger Two and Skilful Lord on the all-weather at Kempton this evening.  Daklondike (pictured above) is turned out again quickly under a 7lbs penalty in the 2m7½f handicap chase having bolted up by 17 lengths at Wetherby on Saturday.  Even with the penalty he is still 5lbs ahead of the handicapper so provided the race does not come too quickly for him, he still has excellent claims.  Our other runner, Tigger Two makes his racecourse debut in the bumper at 4.15pm.  Plenty of the field are making their debuts so there is very little form to go on so we will know more after today.  Of those with form, Tossapenny cost £170,000 after winning an Irish point-to-point.  Skilful Lord reverts to the flat for the 1m4f handicap at Kempton tonight and would need to improve on what he has shown so far - P J McDonald is in the saddle.

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The good form of the stable continued at Plumpton yesterday as Red Square Revival won the 2m3½f handicap chase.  He had just been headed approaching the last when rival Firmount Gent unseated Harry Skelton at the final obstacle.  Red Square Revival was badly hampered by his departure but maintained the partnership with Tom Scu and the pair came home to score.  You need a bit of luck sometimes but the other horse had not put the race to bed and has been called a few rude names in the past, so I am not sure that Red Square Revival would not have won anyway.  Tom Scu is now on the hot jockeys' list having won on 8 of his last 37 rides at a 22% strike rate.

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