Vroum Vroum Mag has had all sorts of options for Cheltenham
PICTURE:Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Collated by Peter Scargill 6:10PM 12 MAR 2017
Performance of the weekend
It has been quite a performance from the connections of a number of leading contenders for the Cheltenham Festival, who have led us a merry dance with horses being diverted here, there and everywhere in the final days before the meeting.
Ante-post tickets have been ripped up, fists have been shaken at the sky but some clarity has finally emerged, sort of, as to where certain horses will and won’t be running.
Limini (not supplemented for the Champion Hurdle) goes for the Mares’ Hurdle, Vroum Vroum Mag (entered for lots of races) goes for the Mares’ Hurdle, Empire Of Dirt goes for the Ryanair (not the Gold Cup), Tombstone for the Coral Cup (not the Champion Hurdle), Moon Racer to the Champion Hurdle (not the Supreme) etc, etc.
While accepting they happen every year, these late switches never get any easier to deal with.
Proper performance of the weekend
Captain Guy Disney was once again the star, as he added the Grand Military Gold Cup at Sandown on Friday to his win in the Royal Artillery Gold Cup at the same course last month.
Disney, who lost his lower right leg while serving in Afghanistan, made national headlines when he became the first amputee in the modern era to win a race under rules last month, and he again impressed as he steered the nine-year-old Rathlin Rose to victory again.
Disappointment of the weekend
Where do you start? Setbacks have robbed the Cheltenham Festival of a number of star horses with the likes of The Storyteller, Finian’s Oscar, Movewiththetimes, Zabana and Don Poli all ruled out in recent days.
Mastery missing the Kentucky Derby due to an injury is a blow as well.
No more of this sort of news next week, please.
Picture of the week
Alan King, Nicky Henderson (and friends) walk Cheltenham on Sunday afternoon.
Tweet of the week
It was not all plain sailing for trainer Ian Williams on Saturday. Fortunately, London Prize won the Imperial Cup, bringing that new car just a little bit closer.
Quotes of the weekend
“We’ve got 38 to 40 going there. I’ll probably be glad when it’s all over.”
Nicky Henderson, half-joking at Sandown on Saturday, on the stress of bringing one of the largest squads to the festival.
“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and I don’t think I’ll get a better chance of winning it.”
Bryan Drew, part-owner of Champion Hurdle-bound Moon Racer, on the decision to go big next week.