Caution reigns as trainers leave Festival options open

Vroum Vroum Mag (Ruby Walsh) wins mares hurdle

Vroum Vroum Mag (left) remains a possible runner in no less than six races

 PICTURE:Edward Whitaker ( 

 By Peter Scargill 12:47PM 10 MAR 2017 

PLENTY of trainers are covering their backs in case of a last-minute change of plan as the confirmations for the third day of the Cheltenham Festival were unveiled on Friday.

The New One, Vroum Vroum Mag, Yanworth and Apple’s Jade all remain engaged in the Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle on Thursday despite having stronger alternative options at the festival. Favourite Unowhatimeanharry heads 21 horses left in the race.

The same cautious approach applies to the Ryanair Chase with the likes of Vroum Vroum Mag, Douvan and Fox Norton still engaged.

Explaining the decision to leave Champion Hurdle-bound The New One in the Stayers’ Hurdle, trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies said: “I have left The New One in the Stayers’ Hurdle in case he falls at the first in the Champion. Sam is confirmed to ride him and he definitely goes for the Champion Hurdle.”

Mag’s many options

The Stan James Champion Hurdle may also be the final destination for Vroum Vroum Mag as well, but she remains the horse with the most Cheltenham options.

She still holds entries in the Champion Hurdle, OLBG Mares’ Hurdle, Betway Champion Chase, Stayers’ Hurdle and Ryanair Chase. She is also still a Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup contender, and there can be few horses in training thought to be as versatile as she is.

The prospect of taking on Yorkhill has not scared off owner Barry Connell, who has added Balbir Du Mathan to the Grade 1 JLT Novices’ Chase. Horses trained in Ireland dominate the entry for this contest with 13 of the 19 confirmations.

More to follow. . .

Horse Racing News | Racing Post

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