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Cheltenham News – 1st March

by Aidan Elder | March 1, 2011

Ruby Walsh
Mel Smith refused to do the sketch with anyone other than Griff Rhys Jones

>>> The long awaited return of Ruby Walsh to the competitive saddle is going to be awaited slightly longer. The living legend is set to return on Friday so as to avoid the possibility of picking up a ban that would see him miss any of the Cheltenham Festival where he’s more than likely going to be Top Jockey. IrishRacing.com

>>> On a related topic, bastion of common sense, Donn McClean has used his Racing Post column to question the severity and application of the seven day ban handed out to Jason Maguire which would see him miss the opening day of the Festival including his ride on Peddlers Cross in the Champion Hurdle. Racing Post

>>> Using 140 characters or less, Paul Nicholls has revealed Ruby also schooled Kauto Star, Big Bucks, Master Minded and Sam Winner on Monday evening. “Ruby schooled Kauto Star, Big Buck’s, Master Minded and Sam Winner,” he tweeted. In less positive news, the Nicholls trained Tataniano will miss the Champion Chase with a muscle problem. Sky Sports

>>> In more racecourse prep chicanery, Ferdy Murphy says he’ll be giving Kalahari King – an 8/1 shot for the Ryanair Chase – a workout after racing at Doncaster this Saturday. “He’s stepping up in trip for the Ryanair, but has won twice over two miles four and the logistics of the Champion Chase aren’t right for him,” Murphy explained just in case you were looking for him to provide some justification. Racing Post

>>> Pricewise has been throwing his knowledgeable eye over the Triumph Hurdle and decided to add Third Intention and A Media Luz to his portfolio. Racing Post (they want you to buy the paper cos there’s no link on site)

>>> Meanwhile, preparations for the Festival are going well at Prestbury Park. They’ve taken delivery of the consignment of lovely girls for John McCririck to ogle, John Francome has a big supply of obscure references to jockeys from the past and clerk of the course, Simon Claisse says they’re on track to have good ground for the start of the racing. “We expect a rather dull, dry week,” he revealed, which also works as a forecast for this week’s plans on the Paddy Power blog. Racing Post (no link – see Pricewise story)

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