The start of the 2013 Cheltenham Festival is now under 24 hours away and everyone at the yard is really looking forward to the week ahead!
Our runner on Tuesday is Saved By John, who crept in at the very bottom of the weights in the 2m4f Listed novices’ handicap chase, the finale on the seven-race card. He has been in really good form over fences this term and ran well in the face of a very stiff task against seasoned handicappers at Newbury just over a week ago. He came out of that race really well and I know that his owner Steve Clarke is confident of a very big run!
Our Island is a likely runner in the National Hunt Chase on Wednesday, with Bradley Gibbs taking the ride, while Sash Of Honour will go for the Fred Winter, in which he could be joined by Dovils Date. I am also very hopeful of getting Ludlow scorer Be Bop Boru into the concluding bumper, though we need a few to come out.
On Thursday, First Fandango could well go for the Pertemps, though his participation is very much ground dependent and there would have to be the word ‘good’ somewhere in the going description for him to take his chance.
We will have to see whether Tartak makes the cut for the Byrne Group Plate, in which he finished 5th off a 19lbs higher mark last year. Both he and Saint Are, who goes for the Kim Muir and, like Tartak, is owned by David Fox, could have done with faster ground than looks likely but they are in very good form and look on competitive marks.
Swnymor will go for glory in the Triumph Hurdle and the recent rain will have done his chances no harm whatsoever, while Caravel, Distant Memories and Donnas Palm are all possibilities for the County, though the first-named also has an entry in the Martin Pipe and hopefully will get in to one or other.