Cheltenham Festival: pointers from the latest preview night


 By James Burn 10:30AM 11 MAR 2017 

The East Garston Cheltenham Preview 2017
Village Hall, East Garston, Berkshire, RG17 7HD

Panel’s naps

Pat Murphy Tombstone (Coral Cup, 5-1)

Stan Moore Martello Tower (JT McNamara National Hunt Chase, 14-1)

Jamie Snowden Golden Spear (Randox Health County Hurdle, 10-1)

John Francome Un De Sceaux (Ryanair Chase, 5-2)

Colin Brown Defi De Seuil (JCB Triumph Hurdle, 2-1)

Noel Fehily Neon Wolf (Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle, 9-4)

The key quotes

“I tried to give the doctor a few quid to keep Nico de Boinville off for a bit longer so I could be on Altior, but he wouldn’t take it!”
A tongue-in-cheek Noel Fehily when asked if he could ride any horse at the Cheltenham Festival.

“She’s about the size of my dog. I know my dog is big, but he’s small compared to a horse. She’s got a big heart though.”
Pat Murphy is member of the Augusta Kate fan club.

“Paul Nicholls hasn’t got a good record in the National Hunt Chase, but Arpege D’Alene was fourth in the Reynoldstown and I think he’s got a really good chance.”
Colin Brown thinks he’s found one away from the limelight.

“Un De Sceaux is a much better horse than the one we saw beating Uxizandre at Cheltenham last time. Plenty of people, including Alan King, will think the form will be turned around, but he’s the better horse.”
John Francome expects Un De Sceaux to come out on top in the Ryanair.

“I spent the whole summer thinking this must be absolutely useless because Willie Mullins wouldn’t have let it go, but it’s turned out for the best, hopefully.”
Noel Fehily’s glad Neon Wolf ended up at Harry Fry’s and not with Willie Mullins.

“We run Dans Le Vent in the bumper. He finished a length and three-quarters behind Western Ryder in third in a Listed bumper at Newbury and that horse is 6-1 and we’re 40-1. He’s definitely got a chance.”
Jamie Snowden keeps his fingers crossed for a second festival winner.

“The best of the Irish in the RSA is Acapella Bourgeois and his performance at Navan a few weeks ago took the eyes out of your head.”
Pat Murphy rates Sandra Hughes’s raider as a huge player.

“There’s not much I can add about Unowhatimeanharry apart from he’s named after Frank Bruno and Harry Carpenter, and Bruno came out with a great line when he was fighting for a world title once. Harry Carpenter said to him, ‘You know they say this bloke you’re fighting is invincible?’ And Bruno said,’Well if I can’t see him, I can’t hit him!”
John Francome keeps the crowd entertained.

“I schooled him this morning [Friday] and he is in the form of his life.”
Noel Fehily does nothing to put anyone off Unowhatimeanharry.

“I was speaking to the breeder of Rather Be recently and he said he’d run a really big race in the Martin Pipe.”
Stan Moore puts his contacts book to good use.

Read more in Sunday’s Racing Post

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