Five Festival Chances for the Butler Sherborn sponsored Ben Pauling Racing
HighBridge – Supreme Novice Hurdle, 2 miles Tuesday.
He has won his three starts over hurdles this season and is going there in great form. He appears to have plenty of speed so should travel well through the race. He also stays well which is important as they go very quickly in this race, especially as it is the first race of the whole meeting and the jockeys are normally a little over excited!
A Hare Breath – Arkle Novice Chase, 2 miles Tuesday.
He has a very big task ahead of him, as Altior, the favourite in the race, is most people’s idea of the banker of the meeting. I couldn’t be happier with A Hare Breath and Richard Johnson has been booked to ride him. He won his first chase this season and then was third in a grade 2 at Doncaster, but the race didn’t work out in our favour at all with it being a slow early gallop. He wants a fast end to end gallop as he stays well and he has very good course form, which is always a big plus. If we ran into a place we would be thrilled.
Willoughby Court – Neptune Investment Novice Hurdle, 2m5f Wednesday.
I have never had this horse in better form, and he goes there as probably my best chance of the week. His real strengths are his jumping and that he is a strong stayer. He won the Grade 2 Leamington Spa novice hurdle at Warwick last time out by 8 lengths, and that form alone is as good as any in the race. There are a few very nice types in the race but I think he could be a tough nut to crack.
Leoncavallo – Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle, 2m5f Wednesday.
He is a horse that has been a bit in and out form wise this year, but is now back down to a good mark, and is in good form at home. Alex Ferguson will take 7lbs off his back, which will be a big help. He should stay the 2m5f and has course form, having been fifth in the Triumph hurdle last season.
Dolatulo – Foxhunters Steeple Chase, 3m2f Friday.
This is an amateur Hunters Chase that is normally very fast and ferocious, as it is seen as the Amateurs' Gold Cup. Dolatulo ran very well at Kelso to finish second, and won at Ffos Las on his third outing. He is a lovely horse, and if the ground came soft, he could just have a good each way shout. I would be worried if the ground went a bit quick though by the end of the week. Dougie Gittins rides him for his mother, Nicky White, and will be very much looking forward to it. Let’s hope the ground doesn’t get too quick towards the end of the week.