Cheltenham welcomes New Year with fine racing

Fergal O’Brien and John Quinn assess prospects   31st December, 2013 – Top horses and competitive handicaps are on the menu for the many thousands of racegoers attending Cheltenham’s New Year’s Day fixture tomorrow (Wednesday, January 1, 2014).   Unbeaten star Irish hurdler Annie Power, trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Ruby Walsh, renews rivalry with last season’s Stan James Champion Hurdle fourth Zarkandar in the £25,000 Dorman Engineering Hurdle (3.05pm) over an extended two and a half miles.   The six-year-old mare, seeking…

Johnston Hopes To Gain Best Annual Total in Britain

A double at Lingfield Park yesterday (Saturday, December 28) provided Mark Johnston with his 216th success of 2013 in Britain, which equalled the trainer’s best annual total set in 2009, and he is hoping to gain a new record tally before the year ends. Speaking from New Zealand, where he is on a working holiday, Johnston said: “We are likely to have three runners before the end of the year so the chances of achieving our best-ever British total are fairly high. “The two running…

Greatrex considering Neptune Investment Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day for progressive Cole Harden

Cheltenham on New Year’s Day (Wednesday, January 1, 2014) is the setting for the fourth race in the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle series. The £10,000 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle takes place over an extended two and a half miles and has attracted a strong entry of 20. It is staged at 12.10pm, the first contest on the excellent seven-race card. Cole Harden has won on three of his four starts to date for trainer Warren Greatrex, who is considering a visit to Cheltenham…

Keighley hoping bandwagon can roll on to Cheltenham on New Year’s Day

Keighley hoping bandwagon can roll on to Cheltenham on New Year’s Day Local trainer Martin Keighley enjoyed his first Grade One success at Kempton Park on Boxing Day with Annacotty in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase and is hoping the stable’s good form can continue at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day (Wednesday, January 1, 2014).   Stable star Champion Court was an early casualty in the Grade One William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton Park yesterday, when he was hampered and unseated Ian…

All-Weather Championships continue tomorrow when Clerk’s Choice goes for Lingfield Park double

All-Weather Championships continue tomorrow when Clerk’s Choice goes for Lingfield Park double   Three Class Two handicaps feature on a strong card at Lingfield Park tomorrow, Saturday, December 28, which, like every All-Weather fixture up to April 18, is part of the new All-Weather Championships that culminate in the £1-million All-Weather Championships Finals Day on Good Friday (April 18) next year.   Clerk’s Choice, sixth in the 2011 Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, won for the first time on the All-Weather on December 22 over the…

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