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CHELTENHAM REPORT

16-03-2018

THIS WEEK We`ve ridden the roller coaster that is The Cheltenham Festival and are pleased to report all horses have come home safely and live to tell the tale. Here`s a brief update for you all as we close off the week, more as usual on Friday. THE DUBAI WAY                                                                                                                                        The Dubai Way finished a staying on 8th in the EBF final at Sandown last Saturday.  He was able to hold a position in mid division early, but he didn’t travel like we know he can.  He ran in snatches but jumped very well in the main and that kept him in the race.  He couldn’t go with the leaders turning in, eventually sticking on up the run in for 8th.  This was by far the deepest race he’s contested and he should improve for the experience.  He is a lovely chasing prospect for next season. The Dubai Way OCTAGON                                                                                                                                                Octagon was pulled up in the Imperial Cup at Sandown on Saturday.  He was dropped in and went through the early part of the race very smoothly.  When the field turned down the back straight Octagon came off the bridle, lost touch with the field and was pulled up.  Unfortunately he sustained a career ending injury during the race.  He has been a star winning 3 for connections this season and will now be found a good home. Octagon CHARLEMAR Charlemar finished 11th on his return to the track at Market Rasen on Sunday.  He travelled and jumped very smoothly from flag fall and showed he retains all of his ability.  He lead the field to 3 out, but was swallowed up leaving the back straight.  He eventually finished 11th.  He ran far better than the finishing position suggested and we will look for something over 2 and a half miles next time.  He’s an exciting chasing prospect for next season. TIERRA VERDE                                                                                                                                        Tierra Verde finished a solid 3rd at Taunton on Monday.  She put in her cleanest round of jumping to date and turned into the straight with every chance, but couldn’t quicken with the leaders.  She stayed on really well to finish 3rd and produced her best run to date.  She can now switch into handicap company and will appreciate a step up in trip. THE GO TOU MAN                                                                                                                                    The Go Tou Man finished 4th in the same race at Taunton.  He set out to make the running under Harry Bannister and he was very slick over his hurdles once again.  He did race in snatches though and you could see from an early stage he didn’t enjoy the heavy ground.  He couldn’t pick up in conditions but showed a good attitude to finish 4th.  He is another who will be eligible for handicaps and will enjoy the switch back to a sounder surface. SIMPLY THE BETTS Simply The Betts finished 10th in the Supreme Novices hurdle at Cheltenham on Tuesday.  He went through the early part of the race well, but when the pace lifted on the far side it was clear he was hating the ground.  He got detached coming down the hill, but when he hit the rising ground he stuck on well and showed a good attitude.  He’s still only a 5yo and will improve for that experience and some time off over the summer. Simply The Betts SAINT CALVADOS                                                                                                                            Saint Calvados finished 4th on his step up to Grade 1 company in the Arkle at Cheltenham on Tuesday.  He set off upsides Petit Mouchoir and the pair went a furious pace over the first 5 fences.  Saint Calvados was headed at the 6th, lost his position coming to 3 out and was never able to get back on terms.  He eventually finished 4th.  He was the only 5yo in the race and he will be a better, stronger horse next season. GUIDING STARS                                                                                                                            Guiding Stars finished 7th on his 2nd start of the season at Huntingdon on Wednesday.  He hasn’t been on the track since October and he ran very free throughout the race.  With half a mile to go he made an eye catching move and lead into the straight, but his early exertions told and he eventually finished 7th.  He should progress for the run. BIGMARTRE                                                                                                                                              Bigmartre finished 7th on his step up to Grade 1 company in the JLT Novices' Chase at Cheltenham on Thursday.  He jumped off in front and lead the field at a good gallop for much of the contest.  His jumping was excellent throughout and he took lengths at almost every fence.  He lost the lead coming to 3 out but jumped his way back to the front and lead the field into the straight.  Stamina then told on ground that didn’t suit and he eventually came home in 7th.  This was another cracking performance from a very genuine and talented horse. ENTRIES                                                                                                                                            Ruby Yeats will be making the switch back to hurdles at Ffos Las this afternoon.  She ran well on her penultimate start over fences at Taunton, before pulling up at Warwick last time out.  The switch back to hurdles should help her and although this will be the most testing ground she’s encountered it shouldn’t be an issue.  She remains in good form at home. Tangoed does hold an entry at Southwell tomorrow, but won’t run because the ground has gone heavy.  She remains in good form at home, but we need the ground to dry up to get her out. Tangoed Hoke Colburn is entered at Haydock on Wednesday, but is another who needs better ground.  He won nicely at Southwell on decent ground in the autumn, before getting stuck in tacky ground at Huntingdon last time.  He is still on a nice mark and he will improve for stepping up in distance, so there’s lots to look forward to with him. Bridge of Cally is entered at Chepstow on Wednesday, but is likely to wait for Taunton next week.  His mark of 109 looks workable and the form of his last run is working out nicely.  He is another horse who appreciates better ground. Rouge Vif is set to make his racecourse debut at Ludlow on Thursday.  He’s from a good French jumping family, he’s an athletic individual and he has been going nicely at home.  We are looking forward to getting him out and learning some more about him. Until next week... Rouge Vif