Racing: Malta shines while Boxer hits canvas

CYFOR MALTA did his Cheltenham Gold Cup claims no harm with a four-length victory over Go Ballistic, with See More Business six lengths back in third, in the Pillar Chase at Cheltenham on Saturday. But Unsinkable Boxer, his stablemate, looks a dodgy Gold Cup bet after coming a cropper two out in a novices' handicap chase on the same card.

Lady Rebecca became favourite for the Stayers' Hurdle after her 20-lengths triumph in the Grade One Cleeve Hurdle, while Hors La Loi III boosted his Triumph Hurdle prospects with an impressive 31/2-length victory over Behrajan, the Tolworth (Novices') Hurdle winner, in the Finesse Hurdle. However, Francois Doumen's four-year-old is also entered for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle and Royal & SunAlliance Novices' Hurdle at the Festival.

Doumen has also entered the dual Flat winner Quel Senor, unraced to date over hurdles, in the Triumph Hurdle and the Supreme Novices' Hurdle. His compatriot Francois Rohaut has put Cyros, twice successful over hurdles in France, in the Triumph, while the Cologne-based trainer Christian Von Recke has Desert in the Triumph Hurdle and San Suru in the Supreme Novices'.

Tomorrow: Saturday's Sandown Handicap Hurdle