The number will have to be whittled down before the race in April
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Saturday 17 March 2012
When Kauto Star was preserved from further risk you could sense the sport’s sigh of relief
Tuesday 13 March 2012
This year's meeting is dominated by short-priced established stars and precocious talent, writes our award-winning tipster Chris McGrath
Monday 12 March 2012
Kauto Star will bid for a third Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup victory after delighting connections in an “awesome” schooling session at his Ditcheat base.
Sunday 11 March 2012
The morning after the day before is the telling time for any racehorse trainer, let alone one with a recuperating national hero under his care, and yesterday's brought only good news for Paul Nicholls as Kauto Star emerged from his stable unscathed after working round a circuit of Wincanton racecourse the previous evening.
Wednesday 07 March 2012
If it was uncharacteristic of Paul Nicholls not to disclose Kauto Star's schooling fall until six days later, he has certainly been living up to his reputation since. The champion trainer has been releasing scrupulously detailed daily bulletins on the horse's recuperation, and yesterday went one step further by announcing his intention to gallop the horse in public on Friday.
Tuesday 06 March 2012
Not for the first time, new guidelines governing use of the whip were rushed through yesterday with one of British racing's showcase occasions specifically in mind. It would be disappointing, however, if regulating in haste on this occasion caused quite so much repenting at leisure.
Saturday 03 March 2012
Cheltenham? What do you mean, Cheltenham? Well, yes, perhaps it will help pass the time. But the real anticipation, in some quarters, is for the forthcoming Flat season – and not just because of Frankel.
Saturday 25 February 2012
Friday 24 February 2012
The theory that the jockeys' championship is nowadays a brute measure of stamina and consistency, rather than a proof of essential class, has this week been roundly rejected by the Maktoum family. On Tuesday, they hired Silvestre De Sousa to ride for Godolphin; and yesterday Sheikh Hamdan filled his impending vacancy, as retained jockey, with the only man to top De Sousa in last year's standings. For Paul Hanagan, the appointment is a gratifying breakthrough even after consecutive titles in 2010 and 2011, which had seemed to consummate long, uncomplaining service away from the big stage.
Friday 17 February 2012
Last year, an equivalent postponement after two horses had been electrocuted in the parade ring could only alter the tone, six days later, from macabre to melancholy. This time round, the card scheduled for Newbury last Saturday was lost merely to snow and frost, and the silver linings are dazzling. For one thing, entry today is free. And the goodwill that has secured this boon extends to the sponsors' injection of extra funding, despite the loss of a weekend profile, to guarantee the Betfair Hurdle's status as the richest handicap of its type in the calendar. Before that prize is won and lost Channel 4 viewers will already have seen one of the most exciting novice chasers of recent seasons, in Sprinter Sacre, and Long Run's rehearsal for the defence of his Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Saturday 21 January 2012
Whether or not it was the change of training ground that did it, Cristal Bonus finally justified his fancy transfer fee at Chepstow yesterday. The six-year-old showed such promise as a youngster in France that his then owners would not let him go for a bid of nearly £300,000 when they sent him to auction.
Saturday 14 January 2012
Saturday 07 January 2012
Thursday 29 December 2011
One thing Kauto Star has not really had to contend with, in any of the last five Gold Cups, is a genuine challenger from Ireland – with the possible exception of Pandorama, who finished so sore at Cheltenham in March that he will not be seen at all this season. Sadly, to judge from what happened here yesterday, things will be little different this time round. True, there were signs that the present crop of novices are working towards a breakthrough, but an emphatic success for Synchronised in the Lexus Chase seemed to give extra edge to the icy gale that came blasting out of the Wicklow hills.
Monday 26 December 2011
No matter what the heart says, one look at the odds is enough to make the head hopelessly confused.
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