Entries & Recent Form

There are four meetings taking place this afternoon with the action coming from Cheltenham and Fakenham over the sticks, whilst there are all-weather flat cards from Lingfield and Southwell.  Of course, everybody will be watching the last day from Cheltenham which features the big race of the meeting, the Cheltenham Gold Cup.  David has four runners today; Adagio, Leoncavallo, First Lord de Cuet and Martinhal.  Adagio contests the Grade 1 Triumph Hurdle at 1.20pm and it is a red-hot renewal.  Adagio is very much the forgotten horse of the race - he has course form having won the Triumph Hurdle Trial and bettered that when landing the Finale Hurdle last time.  He won't mind the drying ground and Elham Valley and Houx Gris (well behind him at Chepstow) advertised the form when placed in the Boodles earlier in the week.  I think he can be bang there under Tom Scudamore - let's hope so!

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There are four meetings taking place this afternoon with jumps cards from Cheltenham, Hexham and Doncaster, whilst there is an all-weather flat card from Chelmsford City.  Of course, the focus is going to be on the third day of the Cheltenham Festival where the big race of the day is the Stayers' Hurdle.  David has three runners today; Brinkley, Main Fact and Eamon An Cnoic.  Brinkley (pictured above) contests the Pertemps Final at 1.55pm.  It is a 3m handicap hurdle that David has won a couple of times before with the mighty Buena Vista.  After a blip on his seasonal reappearance, he has looked very good in winning his last two starts in very good style and is progressing fast.  The biggest concern is the ground as he has done all of his winning on soft or heavy going and it certainly isn't going to be that.  Hopefully, he will handle it okay under Tom Scudamore.

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We drew a blank on day one of the Festival but both our runners performed creditably in the 3m6f NH novices' chase.  Remastered made the running until the home straight, jumping really well out in front but he could not repel the leaders after the penultimate fence.  Meanwhile, Eden du Houx crept into contention at the top of the hill and looked as though he could get involved before his effort flattened out.  The ground, which had been soft, good to soft in places at the start of the day dried out very quickly on a bright, breezy day and it was too quick for Remastered's liking.  All of his wins have come on soft or heavy ground and I am sure granted those conditions, he will be able to continue his improvement.

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So today marks the first day of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival and David has two runners in the 3m6f NH Chase; Remastered and Eden du Houx and he looks to have a decent chance too.  This is the race that is normally reserved for amateur riders although with only elite sports allowed in this country it is now open to professional jockeys only.  It is sure to be a thorough test and none of the runners have proven their stamina at this sort of distance as yet.  Remastered (pictured above) has been in fine form this season, winning all three of his starts over fences, including the Grade 2 Rendlesham Chase at Ascot last time.  He stays well, jumps well and looks to have a good chance under Tom Scudamore, any further rain would only aid his chance.  Our other runner is Eden du Houx and whilst he is a big price, he was a Listed bumper winner with a touch of class and it would be no surprise to see him outrun his odds under David Noonan.

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Well, the waiting is nearly over!  It is Cheltenham week and the runners for Tuesday have already been declared, but before then we have today's racing to deal with.  There are four meetings taking place this afternoon with jumps cards from Stratford, Plumpton and Taunton as well as an all-weather flat card from Wolverhampton.  David has four runners today; two at Plumpton and two at Taunton.

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Following the abandonment of Bangor this afternoon, we are left with just two meetings with a jumps card from Warwick and an all-weather flat fixture from Lingfield.  David has one runner today; Poker Play who contests the 3m2f handicap hurdle at Warwick at 4.15pm.  He has been in good form of late, finishing second at Plumpton and ran a solid third at Chepstow last time.  Conditions should suit, although the more rain, the better his chances.  Fergus Gillard is in the saddle and is excellent value for his 5lbs claim and Poker Play looks to have each-way claims once again.

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                      ***UPDATE***
Unfortunately, owing to an accident on the M5
  we are stuck in traffic and will be unable to
     make it to Sandown in time afternoon

The stable enjoyed another great day yesterday with a double courtesy of Gericault Roque and Sexy Lot at Sandown.  The pair were given lovely rides by conditional jockey Fergus Gillard who was also riding the first double of his young career.  Gericault Roque stayed on in fine style down the stands' side in the straight on this drop back to two miles, coming clear as he met the rising ground.  He is already smart but looks like the type who will continue to improve with time.  Whilst the galloping track was far more suitable than Fakenham last time, he looks like he will be even better going left-handed on a testing track.

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