Latest news ahead of The Festival 2017

FIRST-DAY FESTIVAL MILESTONES A remarkable Festival record is that of Willie Mullins in the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle. The race has been run nine times, and Mullins has trained the winner of it for the past eight years – six of them with Quevega (2009-2014). The betting suggests he is likely to extend that sequence – his two representatives, Limini and Vroum Vroum Mag, are first and second favourites for tomorrow’s renewal. Irish handler Gavin Cromwell attempts to saddle his first Cheltenham Festival winner from his…

News from Cheltenham Racecourse on the eve of The Festival 2017

CLAISSE CAN’T WAIT Cheltenham’s clerk of the course Simon Claisse “can’t wait” for The Festival 2017 to start tomorrow. He said: “We had a good day yesterday [Sunday] with visits from Nicky Henderson, Alan King, Jonjo O’Neill and Ben Pauling, all very happy with and complimentary about the track, and agreeing with the going description of Good to Soft on the chase and hurdle courses, Old and New, and good to soft, Good in places on the cross country course. “We had a little bit…

Salateen holds on in thrilling sunbets.co.uk Lady Wulfruna Stakes

Salateen made all of the running and just held on from Keystroke and Yuften in a frenetic finish to the £50,000 Listed sunbets.co.uk Lady Wulfruna Stakes (3.15pm) at Wolverhampton on Saturday, March 11. In winning the seven-furlong Tapeta Fast-Track Qualifier, the David O’Meara-trained five-year-old receives a free and automatic place in the £150,000 Sunbets All-Weather Mile Championships on Polytrack at Lingfield Park on Good Friday, April 14. Salateen, a turf handicap winner at Meydan, Dubai, on February 9, was drawn widest of all in stall…

Tizzard pair among 14 for Friday’s Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup at The Festival

Nine-time G1 winner Cue Card and progressive staying chaser Native River headline 14 six-day confirmations for the G1 £575,000 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (3.30pm), the feature race at The Festival and highlight of Gold Cup Day, Friday, March 17. Both horses are trained by Colin Tizzard on the Somerset/Dorset border, with Cue Card set to make a sixth appearance at The Festival, having triumphed in the 2010 Weatherbys Champion Bumper and the Ryanair Chase in 2013. The 11-year-old, who is bidding to become the…

O’Brien hoping his Candidate is Perfect for Randox Health Grand National

Gloucestershire-based trainer Fergal O’Brien has an excellent record in the Randox Health Grand National, having saddled Alvarado to finish fourth in the world’s greatest chase in both 2014 and 2015. Alvarado (9st 9lb) is entered once again this year in the £1-million Aintree spectacular on Saturday, April 8, but is unlikely to make the final field of 40 as he currently lies 87th in the handicap. However, O’Brien has a contender in the shape of Perfect Candidate (11st 4lb), a six-time winner over fences. The 10-year-old recorded…

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