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Closutton, Bagenalstown, Carlow, Ireland
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Cheltenham 17th March

Gaillard Du Mesnil (Paul) runs in the 2m 5f Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1). He travelled over well and the recent rain is a huge help. His form is rock solid and we’re confident of a big run.

Monkfish (Paul) goes for the 3m½f Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase (Grade 1). He has done nothing wrong all year and he appears to be in very good order. He’s three from three over fences and we’re very hopeful that he will continue the winning sequence here.

We have four runners in the 2m 5f Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3). Paul has picked Koshari who will appreciate the rain softened ground. We think he could still be well handicapped. Sayo (Bryan Cooper) has been hard to follow and is probably best watched here. Blue Sari (Mark Walsh) is going up in trip and is a horse that is open to a lot of improvement. He will like this ground. Dysart Diamond (Danny) has a nice racing weight but could find the ground softer than she likes.

We run two in the Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1) over 2 miles. Chacon Pour Soi (Paul) comes here in great form. Hopefully there won’t be any last minute hiccups and he will get a chance to prove himself in England. Cilaos Emery (Bryan Cooper) was impressive at Naas on his first run back after a break and his run in the Champion Hurdle last year gives him a great chance of picking up some nice prize money today. The fact that there will be no crowds in attendance will suit him as sometimes the atmosphere on a big day can upset him.

We will have five runners in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Grade 1) over 2 miles. Cool Jet (Brian Hayes) won at Thurles last time and has improved at home since. However, that form may not be good enough here and we will be pleased if he finishes in the first five. Paul has decided to ride Kilcruit and it is hard to disagree with that decision. He has been very impressive on his last two runs and we expect him to be a major player here. Ramillies (Bryan Cooper) showed up well turning for home at Leopardstown and his homework has improved since. A minor change of tactics could see him involved at the business today. Sir Gerhard (Rachael Blackmore) was very impressive when winning his two bumpers but changing stables so close to a major event is not ideal. That said, he has settled in well and hopefully his natural ability will come to the fore here. Grangee (Danny) improved from Market Rasen to Leopardstown but this is a much tougher task.

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