The Yard remains on the quiet side for runners over this week; the string, particularly the two year olds, have had a busy time over the last some two months and this week will be slightly quieter for them; the older horses being prepared for the start of the turf season will, though, work under Steve and Liam this Thursday morning.
A fascinating week starts at Cheltenham today with so much to look forward to; and so many opportunities!! The Champion Hurdle looks a fascinating, fascinating renewal; one thing that you might think is relevant to solving the pattern of it is that Cheltenham seems sure to suit Yanworth better than Wincanton and Kempton (where he won the races that form one of the traditional routes to the Championship crown decisively but not impressively); on the other hand the word in Lambourn is that Nicky Henderson’s improving six year old French bred, Buveur D’Air, works better than superbly.
Jumping is the ‘name of the game’ at Cheltenham (there aren’t many horses like What A Myth who win Championship Races by not jumping well but doing alright between the fences!!) but there are two Irish people, both also owned by J P McManus, who haven’t always jumped well but who have massive ability and potential; both have connections to the NH Chase; in this afternoon’s renewal keep a weather eye on Edwulf whose performance in winning a twenty six furlong valuable Novice Handicap at Naas off 145 without his jockey moving his hands oozed quality and class; and Minella Rocco, shown here winning last year’s NH Chase, might just be the each way value in Friday’s Gold Cup; his large price, in the opinion of this writer at least, more than factors in his patchy jumping record, one view of which is that his tumbles have been kinda unlucky.