Weekend Runners: Slate House returns to Cheltenham
All four of our Coral Racing Club trainers have horses in action around the country today at Cheltenham, Wetherby and Wolverhampton.The 1.53pm at Wetherby sees a remarkable coincidence, as two of our trainers, Rebecca Menzies and Jonjo O’Neill, go head-to-head with five-year-olds that used to be stable buddies when they were trained by Guillaume Macaire in France.
The Rebecca Menzies new recruit is Batman For Ever who is making his debut for the yard off a mark of 122 in what is a 0-140 Handicap Chase. He was a prolific winner in France last season winning over both hurdles and fences, and looks the type of horse worth following this season. The Jonjo O’Neill trained runner is Yes Indeed, who has had three runs for the yard last season, one of which was a good second at Newbury over three furlongs further than today’s trip. With the yard in great form, it would be no surprise to see him run well.
Rebecca also runs Rafferty’s Return in the 1.18pm at Wetherby, a 0-130 Handicap Hurdle. This is his first run of the season having had a very successful time of it last term with a couple of wins and a second in novice company, including a course and distance success. Rafferty’s Return loves to bowl along in front so he’ll be easy to follow, and though there are a couple of other horses in the field in the likes of Captain Zebo and Sheriff Garrett that like to race up with the pace, Rebecca’s runner should get things his own way. Hopefully he can run a decent race.
Scott Dixon doesn’t have to travel far with his two runners. Our horse Conservative is stabled at Scott’s training facility at Southwell Racecourse but he also has horses stabled at Wolverhampton, where both Ebury and Rebel Redemption race this evening. Ebury has started favourite for his last two starts, and whilst things haven’t quite fallen right on either start, he will hopefully go close this evening in the 7f 0-60 handicap at 6.30pm.
Rebel Redemption goes in the 6f 0-75 handicap at 7.00pm and he should have a decent chance as he won over the same course and distance back in August on his penultimate start and yet is only carrying 1lb more tonight. He’s had a 53-day break to freshen him up, and will hopefully run well in the hands of young apprentice Elisha Whittington, who rides both of Scott’s runners tonight. Good luck Elisha.
And finally, Joe Tizzard sends two horses to Cheltenham for what is a cracking day of Jump racing. One of the yard’s most popular horses, Slate House runs in the big race at 2.20pm. He ended last season in good form winning twice at Kempton and is a former Grade 1 winner, but he’s not quite as sharp as he used to be, hence the big price today. That said, Joe’s horses are all in great form so it would be no surprise to see him run well in the hands of our Coral ambassador, Brendan Powell.
Bourbali runs in the 3.30pm at Cheltenham. He was one of the stars of last season for the Tizzard team winning four races and rising from a rating of 101 up to his current mark of 126 in the process. Therein lies the challenge as it’s going to be tougher for him to win off that mark, and this is a very competitive race for his seasonal debut. If he can run a solid race, Joe and the team will undoubtedly be pleased.
Good luck to all the Coral Racing Club trainers today with their runners.