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It’s been a week since Paddy left No Runner Money Back on all Cheltenham Races last Tuesday and there was a lot of movement in the markets outside of each day’s featured run.
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swinging london took three outings to win timber but was well backed for it after looking for a highly creditable contender after comfortably scoring at Fakenham in a first hurdle earlier this month. It was his first England start for new coach Olly Murphy, having been trained in Ireland by Ellemarie Holden. The fact that he was placed on all three hurdle starts means his odds still in the double digits could be considered attractive.
Mr. De Mee was cut for it after easily beating his nine rivals in a rookie chase at Thurles last Thursday and since then the weight of money has put him at the front of the market. Prior to this victory he had only found one overpowered rival in the Paddy Power Games Beginners Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas and although he obviously has excellent credentials for a handicap the connections may well prevent him from entering him into the Sporting Life Arkle after his recent 34 length frolic.
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Every week as these articles are written, it looks like champions coach Willie Mullins has discovered another possibility for the champions bumper and James Gate entered the equation on Sunday by impressively landing a bumper at Punchestown by eight lengths.
It was his first start in public so he’s kind of a dark horse and it’s hard to know how he compares to some of the other Closutton inmates but it was clearly a brilliant start and he had to show his abilities at home as it was. sent a very short-priced favorite into a field of 12.
smoking gun well-guarded for third place in a ranked pursuit at Fairyhouse earlier in the month and the 3m 2f trip around Prestbury Park had punters salivating. The nine-year-old was found missing in the National Hunt Chase at the Festival a few years ago, but has since improved. While he was disappointing in the Thyestes Chase on his penultimate start, he really seemed to enjoy the extended Porterstown Handicap Chase trip to Fairyhouse in which he overpowered The Dabbler by three lengths.
Long distances certainly seem to bring out the best in him and although he has an entrance into the Aintree Grand Nationalthe Irish equivalent of Fairyhouse might be more likely given its fondness for the course.
Doctor Parnassus may not have won at a fancy address last time picking up a novice obstacle at Taunton, but the words ‘easily’ and ‘comfortably’ used to describe his unbeaten record of two out of two on wood are what captured the imagination of punters.
To be fair, the first of those successes came at Ascot, where trainers don’t usually send slow horses, but his 10-length victory may have been downgraded by some, as only four fighters went to post.
Although he didn’t win on the flat, the four-year-old clearly gave his best for David O’Meara, being placed five times, but it was in this area that he really excelled for Dan Skelton.
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Despite market drift, Falcon Eight was highly touted for a first hurdle at Thurles last Thursday with the idea that he had to win to get to England for it and he rewarded backers who kept their cool with professional success of a and three quarters.
It was an improvement on his hurdles debut at Leopardstown at Christmas, although the winner that day – Journey With Me has since followed – Dermot Weld’s Chester Cup winner is a very exciting recruit for the winter match, despite being disappointed when a beaten favorite under Frankie Dettori in the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot.
He will have to improve to win this, but his manager won’t bring him to Cheltenham unless he thinks he has a chance of winning.