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Closutton, Bagenalstown, Carlow, Ireland
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Cheltenham 16th March

We will have three runners in the Ballymore Novices Hurdle over 2m 5f. Haxo (Sean O’Keeffe) ran well when second at Punchestown last month but lacks experience for a race like this. We’ll be delighted if he finishes in the first four. Sir Gerhard (Paul) won a point to point so stamina shouldn’t be an issue. He is in great shape and if the forecast rain arrives it won’t be a problem for him. He looks to hold a strong chance. Whatdeawant (Danny) was disappointing at Naas last time but hopefully Danny, who won on him in a maiden at Navan, will get the best out of him today. He won’t mind the ground.

We have two in the Brown Advisory Novices Chase over 3 miles. Capodanno (Mark Walsh) comes here in top form and the forecast rain would be a big benefit. He is a good jumper and will have no problem with the trip. Gaillard Du Mesnil (Paul) is still a maiden but a little improvement would give him an each-way shout.

We also run two in the Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle over 2m 5f. Ganapathi (Bryan Cooper) hasn’t run for nearly a year but could be nicely handicapped and might represent good each-way value. Maze Runner (Sean O’Keeffe) would need to reproduce his best form to get into the first four.

We run two in the Queen Mother Champion Chase over 2 miles. Chacun Pour Soi (Patrick) has never given his true running here but if he does today he will be a big player. Paul has picked Energumene. The expected rain was one of the reasons for his decision. However, he is going to find it tough to reverse Ascot running with Shishkin.

Brahma Bull (Brian Hayes) goes for the 3m 6f Cross Country Chase. This is a big ask on his first run in a cross country but he schooled well over the track yesterday. Hopefully, he will gain some valuable experience with a view to a return visit next year.

We have seven in the top class Champion Bumper over 2 miles. Facile Vega (Patrick) has impeccable credentials and looks the best of ours. He should be a big player. Houlanbatordechais (Rachael Blackmore) is having his first run for us and might prefer better ground. James’s Gate (Sean O’Keeffe) and Redemption Day (Paul) would not want the forecast rain to arrive. The more rain the better for Madmansgame (Danny). Seabank Bistro (Brian Hayes) and Viva Devito (Derek O’Connor) would handle soft underfoot conditions.

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