Racing: Priory set to defend the faith

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The Independent Online
THE BBC is clearly keen to make your licence fee go further. The three televised contests from Cheltenham this afternoon amount to almost 10 miles of racing, and horses short on stamina need not apply.

It is a programme for a National Hunt idealist, were it not for the fact that the probable first and second favourites in the handicap hurdle are graduates of the Flat. Aahsaylad, the Cesarewitch winner, and Sillars Stalker have strong credentials, but jumping's honour should be upheld by PAMBER PRIORY (nap 3.30). Tim Thomson Jones's gelding was a fair chaser last season, and would have been better but for some clumsy jumping. When returned to hurdles four weeks ago he produced a commendable performance over an inadequate trip, and he should capitalise on the weight he gets from the market leaders this afternoon.

Duntree won the card's big chase 12 months ago, but completed only once (when a distance adrift) in his next five races. The return to Cheltenham could renew his enthusiasm but few would want to bet on it, and Superior Finish (next best 2.55) holds stronger claims. See More Indians (2.20) will surely win if he jumps safely, while Michael Hourigan's experience should steer Mulbank (1.10) home in the conditionals' chase.