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Monday, November 8, 2010


Meeting - The Open - Friday, Saturday & Sunday, November 12, 13 & 14
First race - 1.15pm Friday, 12.45pm Saturday, 1.10pm Sunday
Tickets available from www.cheltenham.co.uk or by calling 08445 793 003.

Finger Onthe Pulse landed one of the biggest successes of his career when winning the Listed Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase at The Festival in 2008 and the nine-year-old bids for another major Cheltenham triumph in the £150,000 Grade Three Paddy Power Gold Cup (2.35pm) at The Open on Saturday, November 13.

The extended two and a half-mile contest is the feature event at The Open and 26 high-class contenders remain after today’s five-day stage, including Paddy Power’s antepost market leader Long Run (7/2), trained by Nicky Henderson, and last season’s runner-up, the Paul Nicholls-trained top-weight, Poquelin (12/1).

The Tom Taaffe-trained Finger Onthe Pulse (33/1 with Paddy Power) defeated Barbers Shop to clinch that course and distance Festival triumph but endured a torrid campaign last season. He failed to complete in three of four lacklustre starts before emphatically bouncing back to form when winning the Galway Plate in July.

Since then, the J P McManus-owned gelding has confirmed his wellbeing with a fine effort to finish third of 18 behind Alfa Beat in the Guinness Kerry National over three miles at Listowel on September 15.

Taaffe revealed today: “We are happy with Finger Onthe Pulse and it is the intention to go to Cheltenham for the Paddy Power Gold Cup on Saturday.

“It was a cracking run in the Kerry National - he only got collared at the last fence. It was a great effort carrying his penalties, he is in good form and we are hoping to go there as a livewire.

“He just lost the map last season but seemed to find it again in Galway, and in the Kerry National as well. I’m really pleased with him, it’s great to see him coming back and let’s hope he can stay on track.”

Last year, Tranquil Sea became the first Irish-trained winner of the Paddy Power Gold Cup since Bright Highway in 1980 and Finger Onthe Pulse will be bidding to make it back-to-back wins for the Emerald Isle.

Grade Three Byrne Group Plate victor Great Endeavour (4/1) could line up for trainer David Pipe, while Nigel Twiston-Davies maintains a strong hand with Grade Three Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase hero Pigeon Island (16/1), Rory Boy (50/1) and Little Josh (16/1), who dead-heated with Weird Al at Carlisle on October 31.

The top-class Long Run’s Grade Two-winning stablemate Mad Max (10/1) is a leading fancy with Paddy Power, as is Grade One winner Catch Me (8/1), who could represent Tranquil Sea’s trainer Edward O’Grady.

Poquelin, runner-up last year before winning the Grade Three December Gold Cup at Cheltenham’s International in December, is one of three Nicholls-trained charges remaining, the others being the recent Grade Two Haldon Gold Cup winner Tchico Polos (16/1) and the useful Gwanako (33/1).

The Jonjo O’Neill-trained Sunnyhillboy (6/1), runner-up to Great Endeavour in the Byrne Group Plate at The Festival in March is another leading fancy, while others remaining include ZEturf.com Handicap Chase winner and runner-up, Edgbriar (20/1) and Chaninbar (20/1), as well as The Sawyer (33/1), Tatenen (25/1), and O’Neill’s other entry Can’t Buy Time (25/1).

Alongside Finger Onthe Pulse and Catch Me, the Irish-trained contenders could include Dancing Tornado (40/1) from the Michael Hourigan yard, the Noel Meade-trained Fisher Bridge (40/1) and the Noel Glynn-trained Gonebeyondrecall (50/1).

The Open commences on Friday with a fantastic six-race card that includes the ever-popular £25,000 Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeplechase (3.00pm) over three miles, seven furlongs, in which trainer Enda Bolger is seeking a seventh victory following the triumphs of Fiftysevenchannels (1997), Spot Thedifference (2004, 2005, 2006 & 2007) and Garde Champetre last year, who could defend his crown.

The day’s feature contest is the £40,000 Paddypower.com Handicap Chase (2.25pm) over two miles, while the £25,000 Grade Two Cheltenham Collection Sharp Novices’ Hurdle (1.50pm) over an extended two miles could see last season’s impressive Grade One Weatherbys Champion Bumper winner Cue Card bid to extend his unbeaten record.

Kicking off the day’s proceedings is the extended three-mile £14,000 The Irish Times Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase (1.15pm), which was won last year by subsequent Grade Three Racing Post Chase hero Razor Royale.

The card is completed by two enthralling contests, the £10,000 Cheltenham Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (3.35pm) over two miles, five furlongs, and the £15,000 Steel Plate And Sections Novices’ Chase (4.05pm) over about half a furlong shorter, which has been won in recent times by subsequent Grade One totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup winners Denman (2006) and Imperial Commander (2007).

Sunday’s feature contest is the £100,000 Grade Three Greatwood Handicap Hurdle (2.20pm) over an extended two miles, which has 25 high-class contenders remaining at today’s five-day stage.

Menorah landed the Grade One Supreme Novices Hurdle at The Festival in March from the Jonjo O’Neill-trained Get Me Out Of Here, and heads the field for trainer Philip Hobbs.

Menorah’s Aintree conqueror, Grade Two Top Novices’ Hurdle winner General Miller could also line up alongside the Nicholls-trained Grade Three Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle winner Sanctuaire, who was third to the Michael Smith-trained Orsippus in an Aintree Grade One in April.

Others of note include recent Grade Two Elite Hurdle victor Nearby, also trained by Hobbs, and Astracad, who could represent trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies, successful last year with subsequent Grade One Stan James Champion Hurdle runner-up Khyber Kim.

The Greatwood Handicap Hurdle headlines a thrilling six-race Sunday card on November 14, alongside the £30,000 Grade Two The Independent Newspaper Novices’ Chase (1.10pm), the £50,000 Sinbad Testimonial 2010/11 Chase (1.45pm) and the £25,000 Grade Two Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (3.30pm).


The going at Cheltenham is currently:

Good to Soft - Chase & Hurdles course
Good - Cross Country

The forecast is for conditions to remain unsettled throughout the week.

For further information please contact Andy Clifton, Communications Manager at Cheltenham Racecourse, on 07876 330090, or visit the website at www.cheltenham.co.uk

Class 1, Grade 3, £150,000 Total Prize Fund. 2.30pm, Cheltenham, Saturday, November 13, 2010. For four year olds and upwards, two miles, four and a half furlongs. Penalties: after October 31, a winner of a chase 5lb. No penalty to increase a horse’s weight above 11st 12lb. Entries closed October 26, entries revealed October 27 (53 entries), weights revealed Wednesday, November 3, five-day confirmation stage November 8 (26 remain), final declaration stage 10.00am, November 11. Form figures supplied by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including the racing of Sunday, November 7. May not include some overseas form.

Form Horse Age/Wgt Owner Trainer
1212U-2 POQUELIN (FR) 7-11-12 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls
211113- LONG RUN (FR) 5-11-06 Robert Waley-Cohen Nicky Henderson
10/1341- MAD MAX (IRE) 8-11-05 Carole Skipworth & Paul Murphy Nicky Henderson
1P14P-2P CHANINBAR (FR) 7-11-03 Watts, Middleham Park, Thompson, Naylor Milton Harris
13F212-1 TCHICO POLOS (FR) 6-11-01 (5lb ex) Chris Giles Paul Nicholls
0PFU-13 FINGER ONTHE PULSE (IRE) 9-10-11 J P McManus Tom Taaffe IRE
F/U056-F GWANAKO (FR) 7-10-10 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls
2F1F16-1 LITTLE JOSH (IRE) 8-10-08 Tony Bloom Nigel Twiston-Davies
011300-5 THE SAWYER (BEL) 10-10-08 D R Fear Bob Buckler
4F/016F-0 CAN'T BUY TIME (IRE) 8-10-07 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill
12310-1 EDGBRIAR (FR) 810-07 D Allen Paul Webber
U360UP-3 TATENEN (FR) 6-10-05 The Stewart Family Richard Rowe
15/1F43-3 CATCH ME (GER) 8-10-05 J P O'Shea Edward O'Grady IRE
41R-3202 DANCING TORNADO (IRE) 9-10-04 J P McManus Michael Hourigan IRE
0/31441- GREAT ENDEAVOUR (IRE) 6-10-04 David Johnson David Pipe
415312- SUNNYHILLBOY (IRE) 7-10-01 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill
0-11110 PASSATO (GER) 6-10-01 P Ponting Jo Davis
151P3-2 AWESOME GEORGE 6-10-00 Gwen Meacham Alan King
35P-621 FISHER BRIDGE (IRE) 7-10-00 P R Syndicate Noel Meade IRE
P/113F6-3 DOOR BOY (IRE) 7-9-13 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson
21411-0 PICKAMUS (FR) 7-9-13 Neville Statham & Family Henry Daly
0F4112 GONEBEYONDRECALL (IRE) 7-9-12 Noel Glynn Noel Glynn IRE
2F510-3 PIGEON ISLAND 7-9-11 Raymond Mould Nigel Twiston-Davies
2/P40/0-0 IL DUCE (IRE) 10-9-08 Mrs Peter Prowting Alan King
23402-6 RORY BOY (USA) 5-9-07 Colin Cornes Nigel Twiston-Davies
4/P1P-41 JUST SMUDGE 8-9-06 Sastastic Partnership Venetia Williams

26 five-day confirmations
5 Irish-trained

Class 1, Grade 3, £100,000 Total Prize Fund. 2.20pm, Cheltenham, Sunday, November 14, 2010. For four year olds and upwards, two miles and a half furlong. Penalties, after October 31, a winner of a hurdle race 5lb. No penalty to increase a horse’s weight above 11st 12lb. Entries closed October 26, entries released October 27 (48 entries), weights revealed Wednesday, November 3, six-day confirmation stage November 8 (25 remain), final declaration stage 10.00am, November 12. Form figures supplied by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including Sunday, November 7. May not include some overseas form.

Form Horse Age/Wgt Owner Trainer
121212- MENORAH (IRE) 5-11-12 Diana Whateley Philip Hobbs
242-0111 NEARBY 6-11-11 (5lb ex) Andy Ash Philip Hobbs
111112-0 GET ME OUT OF HERE (IRE) 6-11-11 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill
2500-21 ANY GIVEN DAY (IRE) 5-11-08 Tim Leslie Donald McCain Jnr
1/12U14- GENERAL MILLER 5-11-07 Henry Ponsonby Nicky Henderson
53113- SANCTUAIRE (FR) 4-11-07 Jared Sullivan Paul Nicholls
P0512-32 ISSAQUAH (IRE) 8-11-06 Mr & Mrs J M Davenport Malcolm Jefferson
50-1131 ASTRACAD (FR) 4-11-01 Raymond Mould Nigel Twiston-Davies
12314-6 ORSIPPUS (USA) 4-11-00 Sandra Smith Michael Smith
1/2311- LUSH LIFE (IRE) 5-11-00 Michael Buckley Nicky Henderson
131030- MANYRIVERSTOCROSS (IRE) 5-10-13 Mrs M C Sweeney Alan King
0/0023-6 ARCALIS 10-10-13 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson
105/6-51 SALUTE HIM (IRE) 7-10-10 Byrne Bros (Formwork) Limited Tony Martin IRE
4/04403-6 LESLINGTAYLOR (IRE) 8-10-09 Marie Taylor John Quinn
350-2311 FAR AWAY SO CLOSE (IRE) 5-10-09 Gigginstown House Stud Paul Nolan IRE
6-13521 ST DEVOTE (FR) 5-10-08 Dubs V's Culchies Syndicate Eoin Griffin IRE
41050-2 TARKARI (IRE) 5-10-07 Clive Cook & Irving Struel Evan Williams
13104-2 OLOFI (FR) 4-10-07 R&L Channing S&F Roberts McNeill Family Tom George
00-23 FIULIN 5-10-05 Robin Geffen Evan Williams
1P14P-2P CHANINBAR (FR) 7-10-04 Watts, Middleham Park, Thompson, Naylor Milton Harris
52010-0 MAJAALES (USA) 7-10-03 S Nelson, J Bowen-Rees, D O'Donohoe Tom George
0001- PUZZLEMASTER 4-10-02 Mr & Mrs Rory Sweet Hughie Morrison
1110- BOTHY 4-10-02 Dan Gilbert Brian Ellison
6010/0-0 CULCABOCK (IRE) 10-10-02 Elizabeth Ferguson Lucinda Russell
31B101- SURE JOSIE SURE (FR) 5-10-02 Jo Tracey David Pipe

25 five-day confirmations
3 Irish-trained

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