Cheltenham gone for another year but still good prize money at Newbury tomorrow

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Friday 24 March

WE had plenty of places at last week’s Cheltenham Festival and, while it was frustrating that we never had a winner, there were no shortage of positives and we look forward to Newbury this weekend with a degree of optimism.

Alan said:”The EBF Mares’ Novice Hurdle Final has been Tara View’s target for some time. She’s won her last four, a bumper and three hurdle races, and she remains in very good form, though I was glad to see that midweek rain move on as she is best on good ground. We also run Cajun Fiddle, who has been consistent this season, winning once and being in the frame every time.

Timoteo is also consistent and he takes his chance in the juvenile handicap hurdle. He was disappointing at Doncaster last time but he would have a real chance on his previous second at Bangor – the first and third there have come out again and won since – and I don’t feel we have yet seen the best of him.

“The Spring Sales bumper has been a lucky race for us – we’ve won it three times – and it’s a race we target as we buy a good few stores from Doncaster. We run three this year. Harefield is one we have always liked and he ran a very encouraging second on his debut at Exeter, and that experience will stand him in good stead here. Deyrann de Carjac is another we hold in high esteem and he has always shown us plenty at home, but we had wanted to start him off in January but had to take a pull when he had a setback. I would have loved him to have had a prep-run, but he is still very interesting, while Mahlermade is another newcomer who is ready to start, having been a little backward and taken time to come to himself.

Sir Anthony Browne, who finished third in this bumper last season, runs in the John Haine Memorial, and he won first time out over hurdles at Wincanton and then finished second on very testing ground at Footwell. He’ll hopefully be competitive here.

“We also have two runners on the Flat at Lingfield. First Mohican goes for the Fast-Track qualifier. He has been in good form on the all-weather and this is his prep for the Marathon back here on Good Friday, while Oceane is in a tricky little stayers handicap. This mile and five would be a minimum for him around there, but I’m keen to get a run into him before the turf season.”