Edwardstone tops Cheltenham’s Sunday bill in the Shloer
Sunday morning might see Alan’s nerves jangling somewhat as he looks ahead to the seasonal reappearance of our Arkle Chase hero Edwardstone at Cheltenham that afternoon.
Edwardstone returns in the Shloer Chase, and, though he has only three opponents, market-rival Nube Negra is a very good horse and there is only a pound between the pair on official ratings.
Alan said:”I want to give Edwardstone a race before the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown next month, and this has always been the target.
“I have been thrilled with him this autumn. He schooled on Monday morning and is in very good form. He won five races last season, and it was wonderful to get back on the Cheltenham Festival scoresheet in the Arkle.
“Edwardstone was then beaten at Aintree by Gentleman de Mee, who was a sharper horse on the day and better suited to the Mildmay course. There is plenty of stamina in Edwardstone’s pedigree, so he should have no trouble in staying further, but Sunday should tell us whether we should remain at two miles or try longer.”
Alan has twice won the Greatwood Hurdle in the last five years, with Elgin and Harambe, and he is doubly-represented this year with Harbour Lake and Nina the Terrier.
Reflecting on the duo’s chances, Alan said:”Harbour Lake won well over two miles and three at Market Rasen last month, and, while he now comes back in trip, Cheltenham is a much stiffer track.
“That Market Rasen victory was Harbour Lake’s fourth from five attempts, and he would have gone close at Huntingdon if he had not been brought down at the last.
“However, while Harbour Lake has lots of ability, he is a delicate individual and would not stand too much racing, so we will wait until next season before he goes over fences.
“Our other runner in the Greatwood is Nina the Terrier, who was travelling very well when she fell two out in the two-mile mares race at Wetherby last Saturday. She might be better over two and a half – I did have her in the Intermediate Hurdle over two mile and five until the overnight declaration stage – but we’ve opted to take on the boys and she will enjoy the good ground.”