Taunton 3.50 NITROGEN After a solid third to Spookydooky in a strong race at Newbury on chasing debut I had high hopes for this very lightly raced 9yo. The fact that we haven’t seen him for 98 days I hope is a ground and not a health issue. Non runner at Taunton buts turns out at Newbury 24 hours later! Has course form, there are more runners but Good to Soft ground and the trips fine. 1 make him a one star* win selection and Ladbrokes are currently offering 5/1.
A PLIEN TEMPS 1st 15/8 Fav. a one star* win selection @ 9/4 general. Happy days. A comfortable winner although I’m not sure I would rush to back him again over hurdles. Would be very interesting if he kicked off his chasing campaign in a novices handicap off his hurdle mark as he’s crying out for a fence!
NITROGEN Non Runner
#Cheltenham News on Twitter
“Drumacoo will not run @cheltenham festival. He is sound after Ascot but we feel the race will just come a bit quick.” Ben Pauling Racing @benpauling1 · 9.30am Thurs.
“Spoke with Alan King today. He says Winter Escape misses the #CheltenhamFestival and will be aimed at @AintreeRaces” Jason Heavey @JasonHeavey (Daily Express Racing editor) · 11am Thurs
Gold Cup the only option for Vautour, says Ricci
“Derek O’Connor has jumped off Native River and will now ride National Hunt Chase favourite Minella Rocco.” Racing Post @RacingPost Weds. 3pm
“New To This Town has been bought by Alan and Ann Potts and is 99 per cent certain to show up in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper.” Racing Post @RacingPost Weds. 3pm
“VAUTOUR looks likely to tackle the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup or stay at home, according to owner Rich Ricci.
Ricci hinted at a BetBright Cheltenham Festival preview evening in London on Wednesday that the other possibility of the shorter Ryanair Chase, one day earlier on March 17, was not going to be an option.” Cuthbert, Betfair Forum
Harry Fry eyeing three-mile Festival date for Unowhatimeanharry Thursday 03 March 2016
Harry Fry thinks the Coral Cup is an unlikely Cheltenham Festival target for Unowhatimeanharry, with the Grade One Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle and the Pertemps Network Final remaining the preferred options.
Although the eight-year-old is entered for the two-mile-five-furlong Coral Cup, Fry believes he would only take up that option should the ground be soft, with the two three-mile events under more serious consideration. Since switching to Fry this season, Unowhatimeanharry has gone from strength to strength, winning all four of his starts to date including a Pertemps qualifier at Exeter last time out. Fry said: “We qualified Unowhatimeanharry for the Pertemps on his last start as that is where we thought we were heading, but we might have to think again as he has been put up 14lb for that success. We will wait and see as Henryville ran a blinder off top weight to finish fourth in the race last year. He is in the Albert Bartlett as well, so if he runs at the Festival it is likely to be in one of those two races. We put him in the Coral Cup as Different Gravey is in there off top weight, but I can’t see him (Unowhatimeanharry) running in that unless it was very soft.”
Plans also remain fluid as to what Thomas Brown will contest at the meeting, with Fry contemplating two races for him. The seven-year-old failed to complete on his latest start after parting company with Noel Fehily in the BetBright Chase at Kempton last Saturday. Fry said: “Thomas Brown is flying after his fall at the weekend and is absolutely fine. He lives to fight another day. He is likely to go for either the three-mile handicap chase on the opening day (Ultima Handicap Chase) or the Kim Muir on the Thursday. There is no preference at the moment.”
“UN ACE 8 b g Voix Du Nord – First Ball Winner of five of his 17 starts. Best effort over hurdles this season when runner-up, beaten eight lengths, to Virgilio at Aintree (2m 4f) in December of a mark of 144. Currently rated 140 over hurdles. “I am very happy with him and he’s qualified to run in the Pertemps in which I expect him to run very well.” Kim Bailey speaks to ATR