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Cheltenham News – 7th March

by Aidan Elder | March 7, 2011

Cheltenham News
That’s definitely the face of a man who finds riding winners better than sex

>>> Keeping it good and Yorkshire, Ferdy Murphy took his likely Cheltenham runners for a post-racing workout at Doncaster on Saturday. Kalahari King – going for the Ryanair Chase – is the one to watch according to former jockey and current all round good guy, Mick Fitzgerald who – judging by his flattering comments – we can only imagine was watching on open-mouthed at what he witnessed. “Kalahari King is the each-way stand-out bet of the meeting,” he said, possibly drooling a bit.

In other, sadder news about the Ryanair Chase, the James Nesbitt owned Riverside Theatre will miss the race. Cold Feet? Wa wa waaaaaa! Er … no – a hairline fracture to the pelvis. I don’t remember that show – must have been on Five. The actor’s horse had been 5/1 co-second favourite for the face before injury and poor pun-work ruled him out. Yorkshire Post

>>> Noel Meade says Pandorama’s lack of experience is a concern ahead of his bid to land the Gold Cup. Of course a lack of experience is a worry, but possibly more of an issue is the fact he was pulled up after a mile of the Hennessy Gold Cup – his only trip overseas to date. So inexperience and a bad run. “That’s the one worry I have,” Meade said of his two worries. RTE Sport

>>> Henrietta Knight reckons the lack of talk about Somersby is a good sign as he bids for the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham. “He’s a very good horse and it is not a bad thing that no-one is talking about him. I like it that way,” she explained, railing against common sense. I seem to remember her saying something along the lines of ‘Racing Demon is going to be the next Best Mate’ and his career has turned out to be a lot of jumping right interspersed with disappointment. All I’m saying is maybe don’t take everything she says as gospel. London Evening Standard

>>> Reading the weather forecast so you don’t have to, clerk of Cheltenham racecourse, Simon Claise has changed the going at Cheltenham to [pay attention – this gets confusing] good to soft, after it was soft, good to soft in places in recent days. There are also concerns that snow might make an appearance at Prestbury Park before the Festival gets underway Tuesday week. Sadly, he doesn’t mean the reggae/rap artist from the early 90s who gave us such top notch ditties as ‘Informer’ and … em … ‘Informer (Clark’s fat bass remix)’, he is talking about actual snow – IN MARCH!! This is surely the straw that will kick-start our ‘move Cheltenham to the Mediterranean’ campaign. Racing Post

>>> In Cheltenham aviation news, the Pravda wining of Ryanair have announced that they’re great and they’re putting on a load of extra flights to fleece accommodate punters making the trip to the Cotswolds for the Festival. And they’re not jacking up the prices significantly at all. “Ryanair has added 22 extra flights to maximize the availability of low fares to the Cheltenham Festival,” said the skivvy assigned to do the mouthpiece work Michael O’Leary clearly didn’t fancy.

Here’s a sample of their magnanimity:
Return flights to Birmingham which will have you at the racecourse for the start of racing on Tuesday will cost you in excess of €300 – and more if you’re not planning to wear the same clothes for the entire trip. Do it a month later and it should only set you back about €70. Wow – they’re so generous they’re practically a charity. ThisIsGloucestershire.co.uk

>>> It won’t be happening in time for Cheltenham, but we’re short on stories so we’re mentioning it. After April 2nd, jockeys who are handed a one day riding ban will be able to choose when they serve it – duh, it’s a no brainer – just pick Christmas Day or Good Friday. Or any other time an ‘all-weather’ track doesn’t live up to it’s name. Racing Post

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