Lord Sam is set to have his second outing of the campaign in the £50,000 Mears Group Handicap Chase, the feature event on Friday, December 9 - day one of Cheltenham's prestigious two-day December Meeting.
The nine-year-old, a high-class novice two seasons ago, was sidelined after undergoing a sinus operation, following a disappointing effort when pulled-up behind Kicking King in last season's King George VI Chase at Kempton.
Trainer Victor Dartnall reported: "He's going for the Mears Group Handicap Chase on the Friday and there's no sign of any sinus trouble after his last run."
Lord Sam, the winner of nine of his 14 starts including a Grade Two chase over three miles at Lingfield in December, 2003, ran a promising race on his comeback at The Open at Cheltenham last month, when fifth behind Our Vic in the Paddy Power Gold Cup over two miles, four and a half furlongs.
Dartnall said: "He seems fine after the Paddy Power and we're happy with him. I was very happy with his run there - he jumped very well. I think there's far too much made about his jumping, to be quite honest, and I was very pleased with it."
The gelding steps up to three miles, one and a half furlongs in the Listed contest, which has been won in the past two seasons by Kingscliff (2003) and Therealbandit (2004), and Dartnall will see how his charge fares before making plans for his one-time totesport Gold Cup fancy.
The Barnstaple trainer said: "We'll see how he goes at Cheltenham but we think he's a three-mile chaser and he's won over three miles twice.
"He's got his handicap mark and he's got to use it. If he's better than that he'll show us. There's no long-term plan - we'll see how he gets on at Cheltenham on the Friday and just go on from there."
The Grade Two Brit Insurance Novices' Hurdle, run the following day, was won last year by Brewster, who went on to finish third to Moulin Riche in the three-mile Brit Insurance Novices' Hurdle at The Festival in March.
Two trainers looking to chart a similar course are Nigel Twiston-Davies and Colin Tizzard, who could both be represented in the £30,000 contest run over three miles on day two of the December Meeting - Saturday, December 10.
Twiston-Davies may run Rimsky, winner of the Grade Two Persian War Novices' Hurdle at Chepstow over two and a half miles in October before disappointing in the shorter Anglo Irish Bank Novices' Hurdle at The Open.
The Gloucestershire handler said: "We haven't decided yet but he's definitely a possible. He's fine after his last run. He just didn't seem to really fire that day and the trip was probably a bit quick, as well as the ground. I don't know, it just wasn't him for whatever reason.
"Later in the season, we'll look to go for one of the major novice races at The Festival. He's fit and well, so we'll see how we get on."
Tizzard has the Brit Insurance Novices' Hurdle pencilled in as a possible for Mister Quasimodo, winner of a two and a half mile Chepstow novices' hurdle on November 23.
Tizzard said: "We're going to think about the Brit Insurance Novices' Hurdle a week Friday. There's a possibility, but he wouldn't run unless the ground was soft. There's also the easier option at Exeter and we might yet go that route.
"He's 100% after that last run at Chepstow. I think he's already aching for three miles but we'll just get some experience up to Christmas and then map something out. No doubt later in the season, we'll have a go at the three-mile Brit Insurance Novices' Hurdle at The Festival, if he's good enough."
Tizzard would like ease in the ground for the five-year-old gelding out of the fantastic mare Dubacilla, who was runner-up to Master Oats in the 1995 totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup.
The Dorset trainer added: "He's won in heavy twice and handles it well where others don't. He's a lovely easy-actioned horse and he'll go on any ground but I wouldn't want to go to Cheltenham on quicker ground against these ex-flat horses. I want to look after him for chasing next year."
The two-day December Meeting boasts prize money of over £440,000.
Admission prices on both Friday, December 9 and Saturday, December 10 - Club/Tattersalls combined £20 on the day, £18 in advance and 16-24-year-olds £12; Best Mate Enclosure £8. Book online at cheltenham.co.uk or call 01242 226 226.
Accompanied children under 16 enjoy FREE entry while car parking is also FREE.
INGLIS DERVER AND BARACOUDA AMONG 18 ENTRIES FOR totesport LONG WALK HURDLE AT ROYAL WINDSOR
Inglis Drever and Baracouda are on course to meet for the third time in the £75,000 totesport Long Walk Hurdle, the highlight of Royal Windsor's two-day Christmas Meeting on Saturday, December 17. This is the second year that the contest has been run at Royal Windsor, as its usual venue Ascot is closed for redevelopment.
In their two previous meetings, the Howard Johnson-trained Inglis Drever has come out on top, firstly in the World Hurdle at Cheltenham in March and last time out, when he proved a length and a quarter too strong for the French superstar in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury on November 26.
However, this is very much Baracouda's race as he has won Grade One contest on no less than four occasions - 2000, 2001 and 2003 at Ascot and last year's race at Royal Windsor, when he beat Crystal D'Ainay, entered once again this year, by three quarters of a length.
Howard Johnson has another strong contender in No Refuge, triumphant in the Grade One Royal & SunAlliance Novices' Hurdle at last season's Cheltenham Festival and an impressive scorer on his seasonal debut in the Grade Two Blue Square Speed Dial 64555 Hurdle at Royal Windsor on November 18.
Martin Pipe sent out the only horse, Deano's Beeno, to beat Baracouda in the totesport Long Walk Hurdle three years ago and he has a quintet to choose from this time around. The champion trainer could be represented by French import Don't Be Shy, the useful dual purpose performer It Takes Time, Korelo, Seebald and Westender.
One horse on the comeback trail is Starzaan, successful in the Grade Two National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell in February, 2004 and not seen out since running fourth to Hasty Prince in the Concept Hurdle at Sandown in April that year. Trainer Hughie Morrison is hoping to bring back Starzaan in the totesport Long Walk Hurdle.
Morrison revealed: "He's fine and I'm hoping to run but it's still three weeks away and a lot can go wrong. He hasn't got too many options at the moment, and I don't want to run him under top weight in a handicap after such a long time off.
"We wouldn't go there expecting to win and he will improve for the run. If things go to plan then the World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival would be the target."
The three mile, one and a half furlong contest is race number 19 in the BHB's Order of Merit Series, which was landed last year by Inglis Drever. Inglis Drever is currently lying joint fourth in this year's Order of Merit while Monkerhostin, currently second in the series, is also among the entries for the totesport Long Walk Hurdle.
Other interesting contenders include Carly's Quest, a Grade One winner at Punchestown in April, Bob Bob Bobbin, a useful novice last season from the Colin Tizzard stable and Brewster, successful in the Grade One Challow Hurdle at Newbury last season and third in the Brit Insurance Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Nigel Twiston-Davies has two to choose from in Mistanoora, successful under top weight in a valuable handicap at Chepstow last season and Tramantano, who made a pleasing return from a near two-year absence to finish second to Lingo in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham last month. Completing the field is Charlie Mann's Nathos, successful on his last two starts in handicap company.
Kate Hills, Head of Public Relations for Arena said: "We could not have wished for a stronger entry for this year's totesport Long Walk Hurdle, with all of the best staying hurdlers engaged.
"The third meeting between Baracouda and Inglis Drever should be one of the highlights of the season. Will the young pretender win for a third time or will Baracouda manage to pull it out of the bag and land his fifth totesport Long Walk Hurdle?"
CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS WITH A DIFFERENCE AT ROYAL WINDSOR RACECOURSE
As well as top-quality racing, there will be plenty of festive entertainment for the whole family on December 16 and 17 at Royal Windsor. This will include carol singers, a brass band, children's entertainers and Father Christmas in his Grotto with presents for the children. On the Saturday, Father Christmas will also be bringing along his reindeer for a day at the races!
A new addition for this year will be a fantastic shopping village on the main paddock lawn. This will feature a great range of stalls providing lots of Christmas present ideas!
Children 16 and under are admitted free of charge and there will be a full complimentary creche facility on the Saturday.
Tickets can be booked in advance online with a saving of £3.00 per person at www.windsor-racecourse.co.uk or call 01753 498400 for more details.
THE totesport LONG WALK HURDLE
Class A, Grade One, £75,000 Total Prize Fund. Royal Windsor, Saturday, December 17, 2005. For 4yo+, three miles, one and a half furlongs. Weights: 11st 7lb. Allowances: fillies & mares 7lb. Entries closed November 30, entries revealed December 1 (18 entries). Five-day confirmation stage December 12, final 48-hour declaration stage, 10.00am, December 15. Form figures supplied by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including the racing of Wednesday, November 30.
Form Horse Age Owner Trainer
12/112-2 BARACOUDA (FR) 10 J P McManus Francois Doumen FR
3114-5U BOB BOB BOBBIN 6 Sarah Tizzard Colin Tizzard
11232-5 BREWSTER (IRE) 8 Mr & Mrs John Poynton Ian Williams
50-1P05 CARLYS QUEST 11 Ms L Neville Ferdy Murphy
41P3-43 CRYSTAL D'AINAY (FR) 6 Tony & Jeni Fisher Alan King
2321-10 DON'T BE SHY (FR) 4 David Johnson Martin Pipe
U13-436 HASTY PRINCE 7 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill
1112-11 INGLIS DREVER 6 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson
31042-4 IT TAKES TIME (IRE) 11 David Johnson Martin Pipe
61256-4 KORELO (FR) 7 David Johnson Martin Pipe
1420/12- MISTANOORA 6 A M J Duggan Nigel Twiston-Davies
213-122 MONKERHOSTIN (FR) 8 Martin St Quinton Philip Hobbs
02-3211 NATHOS (GER) 8 J Davies, A Merritt & J Sunley Charlie Mann
1211-1 NO REFUGE (IRE) 5 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson
PP4-U0P SEEBALD (GER) 10 The Macca & Growler Partnership Martin Pipe
331054/- STARZAAN (IRE) 6 Ben Arbib Hughie Morrison
40/521/-2 TRAMANTANO 6 Raymond Mould Nigel Twiston-Davies
134R-40 WESTENDER (FR) 9 Matt Archer & The Late Jean Broadhurst Martin Pipe
BREAKDOWN OF ENTRIES BY TRAINER WITH PAST SUCCESSES IN THE totesport LONG WALK HURDLE
Martin Pipe (1992 Vagog, 2002 Deano's Beeno)
Nigel Twiston-Davies (1993 Sweet Duke, 1996 Ocean Hawk)
Francois Doumen FR (2000, 2001, 2003, 2004 Baracouda)
Alan King (1999 Anzum)
Ferdy Murphy (1997 Paddy's Return)
THE totesport LONG WALK HURDLE - ROLL OF HONOUR (1965-2004)
Year Winner Age/Wt Owner Trainer Jockey SP
2004 BARACOUDA 9-11-07 J P McManus Francois Doumen FR Tony McCoy 8/13F
2003 BARACOUDA 8-11-07 J P McManus Francois Doumen FR Thierry Doumen 2/7F
2002 DEANO'S BEENO 10-11-07 Axom Martin Pipe Tony McCoy 14/1
2001 BARACOUDA 6-11-07 J P McManus Francois Doumen FR Thierry Doumen 2/5F
2000 BARACOUDA 5-11-07 Roger Barby Francois Doumen FR Thierry Doumen 11/4
1999 ANZUM 8-11-07 Old Foresters P'ship Alan King Richard Johnson 4/1
1998 PRINCEFUL 7-11-07 Robert Hitchins Jenny Pitman Richard Dunwoody 11/4F
1997 PADDY'S RETURN 5-11-07 Paddy O'Donnell Ferdy Murphy Norman Williamson 8/1
1996 OCEAN HAWK 4-11-07 Matt Archer/Jean Broadhurst Nigel Twiston-Davies Carl Llewellyn 7/1
1995 SILVER WEDGE 4-11-07 Shirley & Bill Robins Oliver Sherwood Jamie Osborne 7/1
1994 HEBRIDEAN 7-11-07 Peter Deal David Nicholson Adrian Maguire 100/30
1993 SWEET DUKE 6-11-07 Andy Mavrou Nigel Twiston-Davies Carl Llewellyn 7/2
1992 VAGOG 7-11-07 M A Swift Martin Pipe Martin Foster 15/2
1991 Abandoned due to frost
1990 FLOYD 10-11-07 Mike Walsh David Elsworth Graham Bradley 10/1
1989 ROYAL ATHLETE 6-10-08 Gary Johnson Jenny Pitman Dean Gallagher 33/1
1988 FRENCH GOBLIN 5-11-01 Maurice Pinto Josh Gifford Peter Hobbs 3/1
1987 BLUFF COVE 5-10-08 Dickins Ltd Reg Hollinshead Richard Dunwoody 14/1
1986 OUT OF THE GLOOM 5-10-08 Paul Green Reg Hollinshead Peter Scudamore 4/1
1985 MISTY DALE 7-10-08 David Rose Jenny Pitman Phil Tuck 9/4F
1984 KRISTENSON 7-10-08 Ursula Fantasia Roger Fisher Michael Williams 7/2
1983 CRIMSON EMBERS 8-10-11 Pam Smart Fulke Walwyn Stuart Shilston 14/1
1982 MAYOTTE 7-10-11 B Davies Richard Holder Paul Richards 15/8F
1981 Abandoned due to snow
1980 DERRING ROSE 5-11-11 Peter Savill Fred Winter John Francome 7/1
1979 JOHN CHERRY 8-10-11 Milton Ritzenberg Tom Jones Steve Smith Eccles 6/1
1978 KELSO CHANT 6-11-07 Mrs M Richardson Jumbo Wilkinson Steve Charlton 10/1
1977 JOHN CHERRY 6-10-11 Milton Ritzenberg Tom Jones Steve Smith Eccles 11/8F
1976 Abandoned due to frost
1975 LANZAROTE 7-12-05 Lord Howard de Walden Fred Winter John Francome 4/9F
1974 GO BINGO 5-11-12 Guy Reed Sam Hall David Munro 9/4
1973 SOLONING 8-11-08 Mrs C Thornton Fred Winter Richard Pitman 9/2
1972 HIGHLAND ABBE 6-11-12 Mrs K Hankey Les Kennard Mr R Smith 11/1
1971 ST PATRICK'S BLUE 6-11-12 P Aunger David Tatlow Bill Smith 7/2F
1970 ROUGE AUTUMN 6-10-05 Bryan Jenks Fred Rimell Ken White 9/2F
1969 CANDID CAMERA 6-10-06 R F P Ross Ted Goddard Joe Guest 100/8
1968 Abandoned due to waterlogging
1967 Abandoned due to foot and mouth epidemic
1966 SIR EDWARD 6-10-09 R Heaton Ryan Price Josh Gifford 7/2F
1965 MINUTE GUN 8-10-04 Bill Shand Kydd Bill Shand Kydd Richard Pitman 100/8
Race run as a handicap prior to 1971
Run at Ascot 1965-2003
Run at Royal Windsor 2004
NAD AL SHEBA TREBLE FOR WATSON
Thajja gave trainer Doug Watson his third win of the evening at Nad Al Sheba on Thursday when landing the feature race, the Al Rostamani Group Handicap over 1,200 metres
Hoy Soy Usted, trained by Cosmo Morgado in Brazil and ridden by Marcelo Almeida, led the field in the early stages, but hit a wall close home leaving Thajja, the mount of Willie Supple, to take up the running, crossing the line three lengths ahead of the Ted Durcan-partnered Clifden.
Watson's second win came in the third race of the evening when Channel Four, the mount of South African jockey Stuart Randolph, landed the Al Rostamani Group Stakes over 1,500 metres by two and a half lengths from Janadel.
Murhib, the mount of Durcan, gave Watson his fist win of the evening when he got up in the final strides to land the opening race, the Al Rostamani Group Cup over 1,800 metres for Purebred Arabians.
You Snooze Ulose, the mount of Rory Cleary, had the lead but could not hold on in the final 50 years when Murhib, who had drifted wide, took up the running to win by two and three quarter lengths.
Sapucai, the mount of Ryan Moore, landed an easy five and a half length victory in the Al Rostamani Group Trophy over 2,000 metres. The son of Lode, trained by Satish Seemar, was always going well and took up the running 400 metres out, Chinkara, under Patrick Dobbs, was second with the Brazilian challenger, Kalibanos, in third.
Kalibanos, trained by Morgado, was last seen out when finishing fifth in the UAE Derby on Dubai World Cup day last March.
Majaarat gave jockey Gary Hind the easiest of wins in the Al Rostamani Group Plate over 1,200 metres; and in turn gave first season trainer Tony Manuel his first win at Nad al Sheba.
Senlis gave Seemar and Moore their second win of the evening when landing the final race of the meeting, the Al Rostamani Group Race over 2,000 metres by a neck from Classicist.
RACING IN DUBAI, UAE
DUBAI RACING CLUB
NAD AL SHEBA RACECOURSE
Thursday, 1st December 2005
Dirt. Track: Fast.
Key: The figures beside the race conditions (ie 00-80) are for horses rated in that division and these figures are in pounds. The UAE Dirham (AED) is fixed at US$3.68. All races on dirt.
Then came (in order): Diggi du Cayrou (FR), Kerouan Lotois (FR), Abyaneh (FR), Dusmane des Cades (FR), Moutawaj (AE), Pax de Ghazal (FR), Mleeh (FR), Abkhazia (FR), Nadir du Bac (FR), Khattaff (FR), Doit Myway (US). All 14 ran.
2000 b g Gold Fever Run to Reign (Sovereign Dancer)
Owner: Channel 4 Syndicate
Breeder: Hugh Harlington
Trainer: D Watson. Jockey: S Randolph
2. JANADEL (IRE) 61kgs
1999 b h Machiavellian Insijaam (Secretariat)
Owner: Sheikh Mohammed bin Maktoum Al Maktoum
Breeder: Gainsborough Stud Management Ltd
Trainer: D Watson. Jockey: P Dobbs
3. BETTER MIX (USA) 58.5kgs
1999 b g Gold Fever Barbara's Nemisis (Sovereign Dancer)
Owner: Steeds Syndicate
Breeder: Dr J Fred Miller III
Trainer: M Al Muhairi. Jockey: J A Heffernan
Then came (in order): Pfennig (GB), Mr Sena (ARG), Tri Another Cat (USA), Sylvanite (USA), Forest of Dreams (GB), One Good Thing (USA), Muwassi (GB), Borrego (IRE), Rumpold (GB), Sparkford (USA), Granato (GER). 14 ran NR: Mr Magistrate (AUS). Margins: 2 ½, ½, nk. Time: 1m 32.17s