Cheltenham Update …
March 8th, 2018 | Marten's Current Racing Diary Uncategorized
The big news broke this evening that Sizing John would not be able to defend his crown in next week’s Gold Cup.
After Robbie Power rode the horse in exercise this morning he reported that something “wasn’t right” and it was diagnosed shortly afterwards that he has sustained a hairline fracture to his pelvis.
Robbie Power will now take the mount on Our Duke, who was due to be ridden by Noel Fehily. In a further development Harry Fry is thinking of supplementing American, obviously in anticipation of the ground riding soft. If that were to happen, then Noel Fehily would almost certainly get the ride.
Other news and Ruby Walsh made a triumphant return at Thurles following the fracture to his right tibia which kept him off the track for over 100 days.
He may have another ride at Leopardstown on Friday when he rides Karalee against Jezki. Ruby will be hoping to build on his 56-winner Cheltenham tally at the Festival next week.
Looking ahead to Wednesday’s declarations Samcro, On the Blind Side and Next Destination have been left in the opening Ballymore Hurdle. Vinndication, Kalashnikov and Summerville Boy are out of the race.
Elegant Escape has been left in the RSA while Douvan and Altior are in the Queen Mother Champion Chase. Un De Sceaux is also in but his target is the Ryanair.
Hollowgraphic’s name did not appear in the five-day declarations for the Champion Bumper. Willie Mullins said he was not happy with the horse’s last piece of work.
On the weather front Cheltenham had just 1.5mm of rain on Wednesday evening but it is now confirmed that significant rain is forecast over Friday and Saturday, perhaps up to 15mm by Sunday with one forecast predicting 30mm by Tuesday, and that would almost certainly elicit the word ‘heavy’ into the going description.
The forecast is bound to be more accurate as the meeting approaches so I think we can now safely assume that the Festival will start on soft ground, perhaps drying up as the week progresses.
Bye for now