Friday March 1st
And along with the rest of the National Hunt Racing World, we’re all feeling excited….
Pictured in front here, Lady Buttons has had a smooth preparation since a short break following her Grade 2 Doncaster hurdle win. She is 4 from 4 this season and no decision has been made yet as to which race she contests at The Festival – Phil will wait till nearer the time to discuss with her Owners the best choice having considered possible decs for each race and the ground. In the meantime she will be having a racecourse gallop with our other Cheltenham definites, Top Ville Ben & Nautical Nitwit, Wemyss Point will join them if he doesn’t take up his engagement tomorrow at Doncaster. There looks plenty of rain heading over Cheltenham over the next fortnight and if the forecast is correct it’s going to be a pretty chilly and wet weeks racing, the glorious February well behind us! One horse who will appreciate a softer surface is Top Ville Ben – the ‘forgotten’ horse for the RSA at 50-1 but we have no qualms running our talented novice; he should find improvement for going left-handed again and some soft in the description, he is thorough stayer and we wouldn’t swap him!
We have three at Doncaster today, there are some very small fields due to the quick ground, but it will suit our three who are all flat bred – Pullman Brown looks to get back on track over hurdles, he wasn’t bred for this job being by US Champion ‘Big Brown’ but he seems to enjoy his jumping and hopefully the faster surface will enable him to see out his race more easily.
The lovely Sixties Icon mare ‘Iconic Belle’ was a winner first time out but things haven’t quite planned out for her since and as a result she comes here quite a big price.
A good round of hurdling is what we need to see as she lost her confidence after the Musselburgh fall when looking to be coming to win her race. It cost Adam dearly too, but we are pleased to say that he is getting stronger and fitter every day, and everyone at the yard was pleased to see him visit last week when Sky Sports filmed a stable feature.
Suggestion is the most fancied of our trio, but he is only 2nd fav in a 3 horse race at 3.50 – Broughton’s Admiral being 10/11 against Suggestion at 11-8. Having 2 wins this season there is obviously the potential that the handicapper has caught up with him, but he appreciates these flat galloping tracks and Tommy got a good time out of him last time following Adam’s Boxing Day win on him at Wetherby. We don’t think the extra 3 furlongs will inconvenience him, and we’d love to see his grey head pass the post in front again. He is pictured here with Tommy 2 days ago, photo by Phill Andrews.
Phill Andrews took some lovely shots in the sunshine on Wednesday morning – here are a small selection.
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