Cheltenham going improves
Ground conditions at Cheltenham improved yesterday, after a day of blazing sun. The recent warmer weather has improved the going from heavy, soft in places to soft, heavy in places. With more dry and breezy weather in store for this weekend, forecasters hope the conditions will be soft, with no more than the odd bit of heavy when the Festival starts next Tuesday.
McCoy takes Exotic Dancer and Straw Bear
Champion jockey Tony McCoy will be partnering Exotic Dancer and Straw Bear in Cheltenham’s two biggest races, the Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle and the Totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup. McCoy won at Cheltenham on Exotic Dancer in January and at Wincanton with Straw Bear in February. Ruby Walsh will ride Brave Inca in the Champion Hurdle and L’Ami in the Gold Cup.
Moore to miss Cheltenham
Jockey Jamie Moore will miss the Cheltenham Festival having sustained an eight-day ban for improper riding at Plumpton on 26 February. In London yesterday the disciplinary panel confirmed the punishment, imposed last month by local stewards who found Moore rode Running Hot to prevent Liam Heard and The Hardy Boy coming through on his inside. Moore was likely to have been partnering most of his father, Gary’s, string at Cheltenham.
Aintree grandstands ready for National
Two new grandstands at Aintree have been handed over by the contractors and the racecourse management is making final preparations before the John Smith’s Grand National meeting starts on 12 April. The £35 million redevelopment includes an international equestrian centre which will double as a pavilion on race days. The two new grandstands are named after the Earl of Derby and Lord Sefton.
Don’t miss Horse & Hound’s Cheltenham preview (8 March, ’07) on sale now, which includes a form guide, an interview with ireland’s leading jumps trainer Noel Meade and a look at former champion chasers on the comeback trail, plus tips on how to survive the four-day Festival