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Cheltenham News Round Up

by Aidan Elder | February 28, 2011

Cheltenham News Round

>>> “Feel the burn. Oh yeah. Check out the gun show,” Quel Esprit was heard saying yesterday evening after an impressive workout at Leopardstown. Bookmakers were certainly impressed and Paddy Power trimmed him to 9/1 to win the National Hunt Chase. It remains to be seen just how much it impressed the ladies. Racing Post (with video of the workout)

>>> Also appearing at Leopardstown was Ruby Walsh. He schooled Mikael D’Haguenet in the same post-racing workout, the first time he’s ridden on a racecourse since breaking his leg in a fall at Down Royal. He plans to return to competitive action later this week before going on to win everything at Cheltenham. RTE Sport

>>> In another ‘trainer says he thinks his horse is looking good’ shocker, Colm Murphy says he’s happy with how Big Zeb is shaping up for the defence of his Champion Chase. He had a workout at Leopardstown this morning and the trainer revealed “he popped a line of fences. He was very good and we’re very happy with him” not really teeing up any gag for us. ATR

>>> Pandorama won’t be winning the Gold Cup, but at least he#ll be going to Cheltenham in full fitness. He also had a workout at Leopardstown and Noel Meade was pretty happy with it. “Everything went perfect. He worked great. I was delighted with him, absolutely thrilled,” he said, so we’re guessing he’s pretty happy. IrishRacing.com

>>> Paul Nicholls has confirmed that Neptune Collonges will miss the Grand National in favour of a tilt at the Gold Cup. The 10 year old finished 3rd in the 2008 edition and a more distant 4th a year later and the news caused huge ripples in the market with Neptune being trimmed from a 33/1 outsider to a 33/1 outside bet. Racing Post

>>> Kind of running all these positive vibes, Dermot Weld has the second favourite for the Triumph Hurdle in Unaccompanied, but he has warned that the filly needs soft ground to be at her best. Your Cheltenham news round would have pretty complete without this story, but there you – we’re giving you value for money again. IrishRacing.com

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