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Cheltenham News – 2nd March

by Aidan Elder | March 2, 2011

Nigel Twiston Davies
Amidst all the celebrations came that moment when he realised he wanted to be more than just friends

Cheltenham Festival News – 2nd March
>>> Despite Imperial Commander’s growing fondness for the Daily Mail and Bargain Hunt, he’s not too old to defend his Gold Cup crown says his trainer, Nigel Twiston-Davies. You’ve to go back to 1998 to find the last 10 year old to win the blue ribbon contest, but Twiston-Davies laughs in the face of such ominous statistics. “He started at a very late age, so this ageing thing doesn’t seem the same with horses,” he explained, before switching to used car salesman mode to add “it depends how much they have done. It’s miles on the clock.” Liverpool Daily Post

>>> In more Twiston-Davies news, the trainer has been singing the praises of Khyber Kim and simultaneously reminded people of the dearth of British talent in the 2 mile hurdlers division. His charge was last seen finishing 13 lengths behind Binocular, but Twiston-Davies pointed out he’s still the ‘second or third top-rated hurdler in the country’ and has revealed he’s already lumped on his horse at a big price to win the Champion Hurdle. “I’ll say ‘stuff it up ’em’ when he goes and wins,” he said with an unprovoked aggression to the world. Racing Post and other places

>>> Menorah had a day out at Exeter yesterday, but it was more business than pleasure as Philips Hobbs prepares him for his own Champion Hurdle bid. “Everything has gone tickey-boo with him,” said owner, Grahame Whateley, like every stereotype of a wealthy aristocratic owner you’ve ever heard. Racing Post

>>> Not to be outdone, Willie Mullins took some of his string to the Curragh for a racecourse workout. Quevega was amongst the group and she’ll be going for a third consecutive victory in the David Nicolson Mares’ Hurdle. Mullins was delighted with her. “I was delighted with her,” he explained, before telling us Thousand Stars would be going for the Champion Hurdle and Day Of A Lifetime was more than likely going to take his chance in the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle. Racing Post (old school print edition)

>>> As his return to the competitive saddle draws nearer, Top Festival Jockey 2011 Ruby Walsh has revealed he’s not feeling any pain – physical pain that is. We’re in no position to comment on any emotional pain he may be suffering. “I’m not feeling any pain and it’s business as usual,” he said to prove we’re not making it up. Yorkshire Post

>>> In news that’s not really news, the BBC report Big Bucks is confirmed for his bid to make it three World Hurdles in a row. It was always expected and rarely in doubt, so it’s good to see were the licence fee is going towards hard-hitting undercover journalism like this. That and Total Wipeout. BBC Sport

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