Drying conditions at Cheltenham yesterday left the official going as good to soft, good in places, on the eve of the Festival. Some rain is expected later in the week, however, so a decision on the resumption of watering stays on hold.
The dozen runners declared for the Smurfit Champion Hurdle tomorrow included both Binocular and Solwhit, completing their against-the-odds recovery from training problems. But there is no way back for Weird Al, a leading fancy for the RSA Chase on Wednesday, who is out for the season with a leg injury.
Zenyatta extended her unbeaten record to 15 on her reappearance at Santa Anita on Saturday but America's other superstar filly, Rachel Alexandra, was turned over in New Orleans by Zardana – trained, like Zenyatta, by John Shirreffs. Steve Asmussen concluded that Rachel Alexandra was not as fit as expected, and reserved a decision on her projected showdown with Zenyatta at Oaklawn next month.
Turf account: Chris McGrath
Rebel Dancer (5.20 Taunton)
Triple Flat winner showed promise qualifying for handicaps over hurdles.
Vic's World (3.50 Taunton)
Improved for switch to fences and going well when falling last time.
One to watch
Ranjobaie (N J Henderson) met traffic under his young rider but still joined a photo at Sandown on Saturday.
Where the money's going
Deutschland is 14-1 from 20-1 with SkyBet for the Coral Cup on Wednesday.