FINALMENTE PRIMED FOR TOTESPORT CESAREWITCH CHALLENGE
EXCELLENT ART 50-50 FOR DARLEY DEWHURST
Improving stayer Finalmente has been given the green light to contest the £150,000 totesport Cesarewitch, run over two miles and two furlongs at Newmarket on Champions' Day, Saturday, October 14.
The four-year-old son of Kahyasi has landed three of his five starts this term and followed a luckless run in the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle by capturing a valuable two-mile handicap on the Polytrack at Lingfield on July 15, defeating Elusive Dream by a neck.
"Finalmente is a definite runner in the totesport Cesarewitch - it's been his aim for some time," revealed Simon Callaghan, son of trainer Neville, this morning.
"He won a decent race at Lingfield over two miles last time and only got up in the final strides, so I think the additional distance and easier surface will suit him.
"We have given him a break since his last race, which was always the plan, and he has done very well in the interim. We're very pleased with him."
Despite the prospect of a welter burden in the totesport Cesarewitch - Finalmente has 9st 8lb moment - Callaghan is confident of a big run from his father's charge, currently rated a 14/1 chance by the sponsors for the prestigious handicap.
"He's rated 101, so he's at the top end of the weights, but he's a very progressive horse. It's obviously a very competitive race but he would have a live each-way chance.
"Finalmente is an improving stayer on the upgrade, and in the future we hope that he could be Listed or even Group class. He will run very well in the totesport Cesarewitch."
The stable could also be represented on Champions' Day by exciting two-year-old Excellent Art, who is a possible starter in the £250,000 Darley Dewhurst Stakes over seven furlongs.
After coming third to Holy Roman Emperor and Dutch Art on his previous two outings, the Pivotal colt got his head in front with a battling short-head victory over Doctor Brown in the Group Two Mill Reef Stakes over six furlongs at Newbury on September 16.
Callaghan commented: "Excellent Art has come out of his last race at Newbury very well indeed and we are very pleased with him, although he is not a definite runner. We are certainly considering the Darley Dewhurst Stakes though, and I would say that it is 50-50 whether or not he runs at this stage.
"His form with the likes of Dutch Art and Holy Roman Emperor is standing up very well. He is a very good horse and we have been keen to step him up to seven furlongs for a while now - there are no doubts about him staying the trip.
"He's very versatile as regards the ground, having won on good to firm and heavy going, although he wouldn't want a very fast surface. Being a son of Pivotal, I think good or slightly easier ground would suit him best.
"We'll consider the Stan James 2000 Guineas at Newmarket next season but we'll just have to see how he is working in the spring. The German and French Guineas could also be possible targets."
The totesport Cesarewitch and Darley Dewhurst Stakes are two of seven races on a superb programme that makes up Champions' Day at Newmarket on Saturday, October 14, also featuring the £350,000 Group One Emirates Airline Champion Stakes.
Group Two action comes with the seven-furlong VC Bet Challenge Stakes and the 'In The Pink' Rockfel Stakes over seven furlongs for two-year-old fillies, while the Group Three David Wilson Homes Jockey Club Cup over two miles and Group Three Unicorn Asset Management Darley Stakes over nine furlongs complete the card.
MARTIN PIPE DAY TO KICK-START NEW JUMP SEASON AT CHELTENHAM
Cheltenham Racecourse starts the 2006/07 season by staging an afternoon of racing dedicated to Martin Pipe on Tuesday, October 24.
The inaugural running of Martin Pipe Day' is being held to celebrate the achievements of the record-breaking trainer, who retired in April after a glittering 32-year training career.
He landed 15 jump trainers' championships and saddled 34 winners at The Festival, making him the second most successful trainer ever at Cheltenham's flagship meeting.
Martin Pipe is going to be the guest of honour at a special lunch at the course before racing, featuring many jockeys, associates and friends from his time in the sport.
He will receive a special award in recognition of his tremendous training feats and the many winners he sent out at Cheltenham.
The former trainer will also speak throughout the afternoon about his memorable triumphs at Prestbury Park over the years.
Racegoers will have the opportunity to see some of Martin Pipe's Cheltenham Festival winners in the parade ring before the first race, including Miinnehoma and Blowing Wind, successful in the 1992 Royal & SunAlliance Chase and the 2002 Mildmay of Flete Chase, now the Racing Post Plate, respectively. A commemorative racecard will be available.
The six-race card on Martin Pipe Day features the £17,500 The 4182 Winners in 32 Years Winning Post Handicap Chase (4.30pm), run over two miles, four and a half furlongs, and the £15,000 The 34 Festival Winners Commercial First Handicap Hurdle (3.20pm) over two miles and five furlongs, backed by David Johnson, Pipe's longstanding owner
The first race of the day is the Hit Parade Started It All Betfair Novices' Hurdle (2.10pm) and the other three contests are the 15 Times Champion Trainer Tiger Developments Novices' Chase (2.45pm), the 20 Trainers Started With MCP Scarvagh House Stud Juvenile Novices' Hurdle (3.55pm) and the Pond House Team Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle (5.05pm).
Edward Gillespie, Managing Director of Cheltenham Racecourse, said : "We felt it appropriate that Cheltenham should celebrate the training career of one of the most influential trainers our sport has ever seen.
"Martin Pipe Day is being held at the start of the jump season, as it will be the first time that we have raced professionally since he retired.
"No doubt David Pipe will be trying to win all of the races held in his father's honour, and everyone else will be trying to stop him! It promises to be an exciting day of racing and a truly memorable occasion."
There is also racing at Cheltenham on Wednesday, October 25 and action on day two of the meeting includes the £20,000 Ian Williams Owners Novices' Chase over three miles and half a furlong, won last year in impressive style by Iris's Gift, the 2004 Ladbrokes World Hurdle hero, who destroyed the opposition to come home 17 lengths clear of Sweet Diversion.
The £20,000 Jewson Handicap Hurdle, run over two miles and half a furlong, is another highlight on the seven-race programme, concluding this popular summer hurdle series.