Entries for the Cheltenham Festival have, with the exception of the Champion Bumper and the Mares’ Hurdle, now been published and we have made several entries for the week.
|Ackertac is Cheltenham-bound|
Ackertac, runner-up in the novice handicap chase last year (having finished 5th in the same race in 2012) holds entries in the 3m110y Grade 3 Festival Handicap Chase and the 2m4f Byrne Group Plate. He is likely to go for the former, unless the ground is very soft in which case the latter would certainly be considered.
Now 4lbs lower than when finishing runner-up at Sandown Park on his first start of the season, he has some strong course form to his name, but I would certainly like to see the ground drying out for him.
Another entered in the Festival Handicap Chase is Saint Are, who also holds an option in the Kim Muir on the Thursday. I am delighted to announce that his owner David Fox has recently purchased the exciting French juvenile hurdler Le Fin Bois to run in the colours of Power Panels Electrical Systems Ltd. A winner at Auteuil last November, his French novice form looks very solid and he is out of a sister to the top-class Le Sauvignon, Badger Ales winner Montifault and French Grade 3 winner Vitray. Le Fin Bois hasn’t been with us long but he is a lovely individual and we are very pleased to have him in the yard.
|Bucking The Trend holds two entries at Cheltenham|
Our final Festival Chase entry is Bucking The Trend, who went so close to winning a valuable novice chase at Newcastle at the weekend. Having jumped well throughout the race, he just made a couple of mistakes up the home straight that looked to cost him victory, but it was an excellent run, especially considering it was just his third over fences. He also holds the Kim Muir entry.
Milborough, who finished runner-up in the Grade 2 Towton at Wetherby last time, is being aimed at the 4m National Hunt Chase, where he will run in the colours of David Fox, having been purchased privately since his last run.
Mr Cracker slipped on landing after the first on his debut for us at Warwick and he just lost his confidence over the next couple of fences. He has been well schooled since and he too holds the Byrne Group Plate entry.
|Pertemps contender First Fandango|
First Fandango has run at the Festival for the last three years and he is likely to have another go in the Pertemps, in which he finished 9th last year. However, he needs good ground and won’t run if it’s soft.
Gallox Bridge and Saved By John have both been entered in the Byrne Group Plate and the Grand Annual, but they look unlikely to get in and both could instead go for a race at Kempton Park on Saturday 15th March.