Thursday March 3
None of our Cheltenham squad will be in action again before the Festival, but there is still excellent prize money on offer on Saturday, both at Doncaster and Newbury.
Alan, heartened by the fact that Doncaster is the one place that we have virtually been guaranteed half-decent ground this winter, said:”Sego Success heads back up there for the Grimthorpe Chase. He won well over the course in December, when the cheek-pieces and front-running tactics seemed to suit him.
“He is none the worse for his subsequent fall at Warwick, and I am glad that we didn’t risk him in testing conditions at Haydock a couple of weeks ago. This ground is much more up his street, and I hope he bounces back.
“The other valuable race on Saturday is Newbury’s DBS Spring Sales Bumper, which we won for the third time when The Unit took the prize 12 months ago.
“Sir Antony Browne, who was impressive when winning first time out at Kempton, and Tara View, who is a decent Kayf Tara filly who, while pitched in at the deep end for her first run, is ready to start, give us two strings to our bow.
“Kings Bayonet goes for the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle. The form of his win at Huntingdon has been franked since, and he showed himself in good order when finishing second on the Flat at Lingfield a fortnight ago.
“We have just the one runner at Newbury on Friday, Midnight Cowboy in the novices hurdle. He has been progressing well and bumped into a smart horse in A Hare Breath at Kempton, and on that form he would haver solid chances.
“We have declared four for Doncaster on Friday. Mystery Code runs in the mares handicap hurdle. She is in good form and this ground will suit her much better than the holding ground at Warwick. so, hopefully, she can produce a similar performance to that which we saw when she won previously at Fakenham.
“Mille Nautique, who runs in the opening handicap hurdle, had some good form in France but has been disappointing since he came to us, He has not been getting home, but he has had a wind operation and we hope that will make the difference. plus the fact that he should enjoy the better ground.
“Miss Crick goes for the EBF Mares Novice Hurdle, which has cut-up and she should also be helped by the combination of a wind operation and drier ground. She won a bumper last season and, though we have not managed to get her back into that sort of form this winter, she has been working better recently than she has done for some time,
“Finally, Elkstone runs in the novice handicap hurdle. He has yet to fulfil his true potential and needs to settle better, but we are trying him in a hood which we hope will help.”