Racing: Hughes selects Rooster as threat to Hardy Eustace
Friday 11 February 2005
Two days before Hardy Eustace, the reigning hurdles champion, has his last Festival prep, his trainer Dessie Hughes, surprisingly, has nominated the previous title holder, Rooster Booster, as the main danger at Cheltenham next month. The veteran Co Kildare handler, who knows Prestbury Park better than most - he rode Monksfield to win the Champion Hurdle in 1979 and Davy Lad the Gold Cup two years earlier - is working on the horses-for-courses theory in picking Philip Hobbs's grey rather than any of the massively strong Irish contingent.
"Those that have run well at Cheltenham usually go back and run well again," Hughes said. "I fear Rooster Booster. If he turns up, he'll go close."
Hardy Eustace, who won the Royal & SunAlliance Hurdle at the Festival as a novice, was a 33-1 shot for the senior crown last year; this time he is third favourite, at 6-1, in among five compatriots headed by Harchibald. The eight-year-old was third to two others, Macs Joy and Brave Inca, at Leopardstown 19 days ago and will have the finishing touches added at Gowran tomorrow. "He came out of that last race very well," added Hughes. "He's stronger this year, and more forward."
If a Champion Hurdle dark horse is to emerge, it may be in tomorrow's Totesport Gold Trophy at Newbury. Twenty-seven were declared yesterday for one of the season's hottest betting heats, including six who hold the Cheltenham entry: Royal Shakespeare, the Martin Pipe pair Copeland and Tamarinbleu, and the Irish trio Essex, Power Elite and Al Eile, all priced at 33-1 or longer for the big one.
Michael O'Brien's charge Essex, who has won the Irish Cesarewitch and Pierse Hurdle on his last two runs, has been ante-post favourite for tomorrow, but the gamble of the £125,000 contest has been the Malcolm Jefferson-trained novice Roman Ark, backed from 11-1 to 7-1 yesterday with the sponsors.
* The Jockey Club deal with two hearings in London today. First up is the case of Endless Summer, the colt whose birth date was wrongly registered and so masqueraded as a year too young through his career. Philip Mitchell, manager of Juddmonte Farms, who owned and bred the horse, will face the disciplinary panel. Then David Elsworth appeals against a £1,500 fine over the running of Wavertree Boy at Taunton 10 days ago.
Latest in Sport
UFC 190 Ronda Rousey vs Bethe Correia: What time does it start and where can I watch it, plus Mauricio Rua vs Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Norwich City mocked after revealing terrible new third kit - which is also yellow and green
Manchester United 2015/16 kit unveiled: Morgan Schneiderlin leads the Adidas campaign as new shirt is launched
Ashes 2015: Mitchell Johnson goads England fans as Edgbaston crowd shows little mercy for Australia
The unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth - and what it says about English life
- 1 Windows 10: man updates PC, wakes up to find porn slideshow on repeat
- 2 The 'world's most beautiful vagina' has been debunked by science
- 3 John Green schools morning show hosts after awkward interview with Cara Delevingne
- 4 Supermodel Gisele Bundchen mocked for wearing a burka to avoid being seen visiting plastic surgeon in Paris
- 5 Bulletproof armadillo puts Texas man in hospital after shot bounces off hard shell
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a leading company in the field ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£26041 - £34876 per annum: Recruitment Genius: There has never been a more exc...
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...