NH Fixtures & Sales Dates

Sat Feb 24
Chepstow, Kempton, Newcastle
Sun Feb 25
Fontwell, Southwell
Mon Feb 26
Ayr, Plumpton

Cheltenham Festival 2018

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Entries & Recent Form

What a performance from Rathlin Rose and the amazing Captain Guy Disney to land the Royal Artillery Gold Cup at Sandown for a second successive year.  I thought Guy gave him an absolutely perfectly timed ride - he still had plenty to do at the bottom of the hill but he made relentless progress between the last two and joining issue at the last fence, he was well on top at the line.  Guy came into our Cheltenham Festival marquee after last season's heroics and received a tremendous reception and I have never seen anyone so pleased that David had given him a ride...perhaps this year he will buy me a drink?  Only joking!  It is all good publicity for our stable sponsors W&S too with their logos featuring heavily in all the publicity, including on Racing UK yesterday (pictured above).  Anyway, it would be no surprise to see Guy attempt an unbelievable double double aboard Rathlin Rose with the Grand Military back at Sandown next month the obvious target.

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There are four meetings taking place this afternoon with jumps cards from Sandown and Fakenham as well as all-weather flat fixtures from Lingfield and Newcastle.  David has one runner today as Rathlin Rose (pictured above) bids to follow-up his famous victory in the Royal Artillery Gold Cup at Sandown under Captain Guy Disney.  He went on to follow-up in the Grand Military Gold Cup and he has shown he retains all of his ability with a fine effort in the Welsh National on his penultimate start.  The race probably came too soon on desperate ground at Wincanton last time and if he can recapture his previous form he would go close to adding another chapter to this amazing fairytale.

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David was on the board yesterday with the victory of high profile recent recruit Know The Score (pictured above) in the bumper at Towcester.  He won by 13 lengths and extended his authority over Alan King's Sernior Citizen by over 9 lengths from when they last met in an Irish point-to-point.  It is a long way from Towcester to Cheltenham, but he looked completely different class to his rivals here and he certainly would not be out of place in the line-up for the champion bumper at the Cheltenham Festival.  Wherever he goes, it looks as though it will take a very good horse to beat him, especially if the ground comes up soft.

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Today we have four meetings, jumps cards at Musselburgh and Towcester plus flat cards at Lingfield and Wolverhampton.  David runs Know the Score in the 4.40pm at Towcester, a 2m bumper.  Our five year old won a point to point on soft ground.  He was the 5/2 favourite that day and won with a bit in hand and my Irish mates mates tell me it was a very good race.  There are only six runners in the field but it looks competitive to me and others also have form in Ireland.  I think we should win as the track will suit him but it won't be easy.  David also has one runner on the flat at Lingfield.  Celestial Path runs in the 3.50pm 1m4f Conditions stakes with Luke Morris on board.  The horse has run in some top races on the flat and has lots of ability but my one concern would be the 12f trip.  There is some good prize money on offer with only four runners in the field.

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There is only one meeting left on today, an all-weather flat meeting at Southwell.  The two intended jumps meetings have both been abandoned.  We have had tremendous storms down here in the west-country overnight, lots of rain and high winds.  Eamon An Cnoic won nicely at Plumpton on bottomless ground yesterday.  He has to give away a lot of weight to his rivals and I thought it was a good performance.  He jumped well if a little right and he will be much better on a more galloping track.  This was his second win over fences and hopefully there is more to come over the larger obstacles.

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      Eamon an Cnoic runs at Plumpton

Today we hopefully have three meetings, Plumpton, Catterick (inspection 8am) and Wolverhampton.  David runs Eamon and Cnoic at Plumpton, in the 2.50pm 2m3f novice handicap chase.  It looks a race our seven year old should win.  He won on heavy going at Haydock on his penultimate start and has the best form on offer.  He does have to give plenty of weight away but he should be better than his two rivals with Tom Scu in the saddle.  David also saddles one runner on the flat at Wolverhampton this evening.  Iniciar runs in the 6.40pm stayers handicap over 2 miles.  He hasn't run since Royal Ascot last year, a day he went off too fast in the Ascot stakes but he does have some useful form on the flat.  He does have it to do against the favourite Dubawi Fifty but it would not be the biggest surprise to see him run okay despite being the outsider of the field.

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      Ramses De Teille runs at Exeter

Today we have two meetings, jumps cards at Exeter and at Ayr.  David has four runners at Exeter - Drama King, Poker Play, Ramses De Teille and Just Midas.  Our best chance of a winner looks to be Ramses De Teille in the 4.10pm,a Graduation chase over three miles.  Our six year old is very consistent and has won two of his three chase starts.  It is good to get Drama King on the track again, he is having only his third ever start at the age of seven and she should improve from his comeback run at Taunton last time.  Poker Play needs to bounce back after a disappointing run at Wincanton last time.  He won't mind the ground and he should go okay.  Just Midas makes his debut in the concluding bumper.  He goes okay at home but it looks like the Barry Geraghty ridden Time to Move On will be hard to beat.

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