Cheltenham Festival 2018
  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4

Busy Weekend Ahead With Wincanton Taking Centre Stage

Stable Talk with Neil Mulholland

It was a relatively quiet weekend for the yard, but we did send The Young Master to Ascot for the Sodexo Gold Cup at Ascot.

Unfortunately, his race ended early when he unseated James King but thankfully he has come home without a scratch. He won’t take up his entry in the Badger Ales Chase at Wincanton on Saturday, but the Becher Chase at Aintree next month remains the main target for him before Christmas.

The rain arrived at Ascot on Saturday but unfortunately there wasn’t enough for Carole’s Destrier to take up his engagement, and he will now go straight to the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury without a run. 

Chirico Vallis made his debut for us at Southwell on Monday, and it was lovely to see him win on chase debut in the JP McManus colours. He jumped well which should boost his confidence, and hopefully he will be able to build on that next time out.

Looking ahead to this weekend, and it is certainly a busy one for the yard with plenty of runners declared.

Indian Stream is well at home but carrying top weight in the mares’ handicap hurdle at Wincanton on Saturday will be a big ask for her. We will also be keeping an eye on the weather forecast as she wouldn’t want too much overnight rain.

There is a small field of just three runners for the Rising Stars Novices’ Chase on Saturday, but hopefully that should help Kalondra. Modus is clearly a strong opponent but our lad jumped well on chase debut last time out, and we are hopeful he can put in another strong performance up in class. 

The Badger Ales Trophy Handicap is a race that all the local trainers would love to win, so we are pleased to have two good horses taking their chance.

Southfield Royale will be having his first start of the season but he has been in good order at home, and Tom Scudamore was very happy with him when he schooled him on Friday morning. Pilgrims Bay also jumped well in that schooling session under James Best, and as we have seen in the past, he needs to be held on to for as long as possible to be seen to best effect.

Moving on to Sunday, Solighoster goes to Ffos Las where he will make his chase debut over 3m, and we are hoping he can perform well. He represented us well last season, including when he won his bumper first time out, and hopefully he can go well fresh once again.    

We also send Fingerontheswitch to the Welsh track for the 3m handicap hurdle and James King will be taking a valuable 5lbs off his back. It’s sure to be survival of the fittest in testing ground but he does have a run under his belt, and we hope that will help make the difference.

Most Celebrated is another horse who won well first time out last winter, and he makes his seasonal debut in a competitive looking 2m handicap hurdle at Sandown. We popped him over some hurdles this week which we were pleased with, so fingers crossed he can make his presence felt.

Also at Sandown, Cesar Et Rosalie goes in the 2m4f handicap hurdle and he is one that we believe has gotten stronger after a little break. He might be better going left-handed but he ran well at Musselburgh, and fingers crossed he gets the best of the fresh ground in the first race of the day.

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Stable Chat with Neil Mulholland
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Cheltenham Festival Odds

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Cheltenham Festival - Betting Tips

Tom LeeFollowing on from last year, we are delighted to announce that we are featuring horse racing tips from Channel Four Racing presenter, Tom Lee.

Tom appears on Channel 4's Morning Line & covers live Racing in the afternoon as well fronting RTE's Racing coverage in Ireland, his Cheltenham Festival Tips and previews of each day's Racing will be available during the Festival and supported with opinions and views from our Racing writers.

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