Racing: Pearl back at two miles after a six-year break
Saturday 08 March 2003
Willie Mullins has confirmed that Florida Pearl will tackle the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham next week. The 11-year-old, last seen in action when pulled up behind Beef Or Salmon at Leopardstown last month, was also entered for the the Gold Cup but connections have opted for the two-mile chase. Paul Carberry will take the ride
"In fact he hasn't run over two miles since he won the bumper at the Festival in 1997," Mullins said. "He has had a less than ideal preparation, but he worked nicely yesterday, scoped clean today and we are there with a chance now."
Tony Dobbin survived a pre-Cheltenham injury scare and missed a winner at Ayr yesterday after being kicked on the leg before the start of a novices' hurdle.
Dobbin was due to ride Jack Pot II but was kicked on the left leg by the eventual winner, Strong Resolve, before the race. The Ulsterman, whose Festival rides include Hors La Loi in the Champion Hurdle, was in some pain as he was examined by paramedics before being taken to hospital for an X-ray examination.
"The horse gave him a double-barrelled kick and he was very lucky really," his agent, Richard Hale, said. ""He has a haematoma on the leg and it's a bit sore but he says he will be all right to ride at Sandown."
Chepstow's card hinges on a 7am inspection after 6.5mm of rain fell at the track yesterday.
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