Zara Phillips to saddle first runner as a trainer at Cheltenham

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  • Zara Phillips is set to saddle her first runner under Rules as a trainer at Cheltenham Racecourse today, Wednesday 7 May.

    Manor Down will be running in the Red Mills Intermediate point-to-point Championship Final Hunters’ Chase at 6.45pm.

    In March Manor Down produced a surprise 20-1 win for Zara in an intermediate point-to-point at the Bicester Hunt with Whaddon Chase meeting, qualifying him for the race at Cheltenham.

    But Zara was competing at the Barroca three-day event in Portugal so missed the win.

    Dolly Maude, representing Zara said: “Hopefully Zara will be there to see him because he is her first runner on the track and she’s really looking forward to it.”

    Manor Down was pulled up at his two previous visits to Cheltenham, in 2005 and 2007 and faces a stiff task in the extended three mile and one furlong race, which has 27 entries.

    Ms Maude added: “Manor Down has not performed well at Cheltenham in the past but he’s got to try. He can be a bit temperamental at proper racecourses, he quite likes point-to-points but his win in March qualified him for this race so it seemed like a good idea to have a go.

    “Zara does absolutely everything with him. She rides him out every day and schools him — the whole lot is all down to her. She’s done a fantastic job because he is quirky but she’s made him really, really happy.”

    The race takes place during Cheltenham’s Hunter Chase Evening, the final fixture at the course until October.

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