Rise in weights favours Swinger

Exit swinger is a top-priced 4-1 favourite with Stanley for the Tripleprint Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday. The Martin Pipe-trained five-year-old, runner up to stablemate Lady Cricket in the Thomas Pink Gold Cup over two and a half miles and 110 yards on Cheltenham's old course last month, was one of 19 declared yesterday for the two mile five furlong handicap chase on the new course.

Exit swinger is a top-priced 4-1 favourite with Stanley for the Tripleprint Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday. The Martin Pipe-trained five-year-old, runner up to stablemate Lady Cricket in the Thomas Pink Gold Cup over two and a half miles and 110 yards on Cheltenham's old course last month, was one of 19 declared yesterday for the two mile five furlong handicap chase on the new course.

Stablemate Upgrade heads the weights with Fadalko following the defection of See More Business, Florida Pearl and Tiutchev. The 16lb rise in the weights still leaves Exit Swinger 2lb out of the handicap on 9st 12lb. Fadalko has an alternative engagement on the same card in the rescheduled Tingle Creek Chase. Barry Simpson, racing manager to owner Robert Ogden, said: "It's more likely we'd favour the Tingle Creek."

There are five Irish entries for the Tripleprint, last won by an Irish raider in 1971 - Tom Dreaper's Leap Frog. Arthur Moore is responsible for three including Native Upmanship, an easy winner at Navan last time. Lyreen Wonder and More Than A Stroll are Moore's other entries. Hill Society (Noel Meade) and Go Roger Go (Edward O'Grady) make up the Irish quintet. The latter is an intended runner. Other possibles include Venetia Williams's Samakaan, winner of the Grand Annual Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

Flagship Uberalles could take on Tiutchev, the Arkle Challenge Trophy winner, on Saturday following the switch of the Tingle Creek Chase. Both had been set to miss the race, scheduled to be run at Sandown last Saturday - Flagship Uberalles was to run in the John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown on Sunday with Tiutchev missing the race after knocking a joint. Sandown's abandonment, however, led to the Tingle Creek being reopened.

Tiutchev, who had been ante-post favourite for the race, was yesterday confirmed an intended runner by trainer Nicky Henderson. The seven-year-old has made a swift recovery. Henderson, who also had Get Real in the Tingle Creek, said yesterday: "Tiutchev's been put back in the Tingle Creek and he works tomorrow. He was fine yesterday and as long as I'm happy with him working the intention is to run. Get Real won't be able to because its the wrong way around for him."

A decision on Flagship Uberalles' participation will be made later in the week. Noel Chance, his trainer said: "I am going to walk the Punchestown track tomorrow. I am concerned they are not using the big course. There's a big possibility he will go to Cheltenham. If he goes to Ireland Mick Fitzgerald will ride, if he goes to Cheltenham it will be Richard Johnson."

Cheltenham stage the Tingle Creek as the third event on the card. The 11 eligible to run are Bellator, Cenkos, Chief's Song, Direct Route, Edredon Bleu, Fadalko, Flagship Uberalles, Get Real, Mulkev Prince, The Outback Way and Tiutchev.

Barton heads the entries for the Bula Hurdle. The Tim Easterby-trained hurdler, who extended his unbeaten run over timber to eight on his return from injury in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle last time, is one of 11 entries. Barton is set to meet Hors La Loi III, second to Istabraq in the Champion Hurdle in March. Now with James Fanshawe, Hors La Loi III will be ridden by Andrew Thornton in the absence of the suspended Dean Gallagher. Thornton said yesterday: "I have schooled him and he's a joy to ride. Dean has ridden him in most of his work and said that at this stage he is giving a better feel than last year." Other Bula entries include Mister Morose, Youlneverwalkalone and Geos.

King's Road, winner of the Hennessy Gold Cup, is among 14 entries for the Tommy Whittle Chase at Haydock on Saturday. Charlie Mann's Moral Support, favourite for the Welsh National, is also entered. Haydock also stages the Henry VIII Novices' Chase, another race scheduled for Sandown.

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When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
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