We take a look at some of the top racing stories of the day in our new feature and provide our experts’ racing selections on Wednesday, March 1, 2017.
Champion jockey Jim Crowley (right) may have a new retained role with Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum, but insists “I don’t want anyone thinking I won’t be going for the title again”.
Former jump jockey Crowley won his first Flat title after a titanic battle with Silvestre De Sousa last year and the former champ gained his first winner with his first ride at Lingfield yesterday. Crowley said: “If I am still in with a shot when Glorious Goodwood comes round, I am definitely going to give it a go. I don’t want people to think I won’t be going for the title again. You simply can’t have that attitude.”
Source: Press Association
Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle favourite Death Duty has been tabbed by trainer Gordon Elliott as his top gun for the Cheltenham Festival. Unbeaten over hurdles, he will spearhead a strong challenge on March 17, with Lexus Chase winner Outlander and Don Poli both heading to the Timico Gold Cup. Speaking at yesterday’s media day Elliott said: “We’ll have several horses travelling over with decent chances but there’s no getting away from it – Death Duty appears to be our big hope. He’s a very good horse and I’d say the best novice hurdler we’ve had.” Death Duty is currently Bet4Causes’ 11/4 favourite for the 3m event.
Gordon Elliott (right) will send a team of “about 30 horses across” to the Cheltenham Festival in two weeks’ time. While Don Cossack’s Timico Gold Cup victory was the highlight of three winners at the Festival last season, his star has subsequently been retired through injury. Elliott admitted: “On numbers I’d say we have a lot more fancied ones this year, but we had three winners last year and it will be hard to beat that.”
Tombstone will have to come through a satisfactory piece of work at the weekend to book his place in the Champion Hurdle. Trained by Gordon Elliott, the recent conqueror of former 2m king Jezki needs to be supplemented for the March 14 feature. Elliott said: “If everything goes all right and he works all right at the weekend, the plan is we’ll probably run him in the Champion Hurdle. It’s a very good race, but it’s probably an open enough race. We’ve never had a runner in the Champion Hurdle, so I don’t know what it takes to win one, but why not have a go?”
Mutakayyef, who missed the Winter Derby at Lingfield with a foot abscess, is still on course for the Dubai Turf. Trainer William Haggas said: “His foot is fine, it was just very unfortunate timing. He’ll be back ridden tomorrow and there’s no question of it ruling him out of Dubai. We’ll take him away for a gallop somewhere first, that will put him right.”
Colin Tizzard has ruled King George VI Chase hero Thistlecrack out until Christmas following a second scan on his torn tendon. “Thistlecrack’s second scan came back exactly the same as the first, as we expected it would,” said Tizzard. “As communicated previously, Thistlecrack will not run again this season and all being well we’d expect him to be back at Christmas.”
Camping Ground is set to miss the Cheltenham Festival in favour of the Aintree Hurdle, following his demolition job in the National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell. Trainer Gary Moore said: “It was nice for the horse, he did it well and has come out of it pretty good. We just need to work out where to go with him now. I think two miles is too sharp and three miles is too far, so we need to go somewhere in between and we’re better off waiting for Liverpool.”
The new 2kg (4.4lb) allowance for female jockeys in France starts today at Deauville. Apprentice Alison Massin has seven booked rides. In all, 13 of the 96 runners at Deauville will be ridden by women. France Galop vice president Jean-Pierre Colombu said he was surprised by the level of controversy the new measure has caused. “Debate is always a good thing and perhaps we will be proved wrong, although I don’t think so,” said Colombu. “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.”
Racing will be broadcast on ITV1 on Saturday for the first time since its launch on New Year’s Day. Seven races will be broadcast from Newbury and Doncaster. “It was just an opportunity that came up enabling us to do it, so that’s good. We’ve now got 42 days on the main channel,” said Grant Cunningham, ITV’s head of publicity, factual and sport.
Today’s MCB British Racing selections – Tuesday, February 28, 2017
MUSSELBURGH: 2.00 Major Ridge, 2.30 Dear Sire, 3.00 Improved, 3.30 Pekanheim, 4.00 Superior Command, 4.30 Darwins Fox, 5.00 Miss Barbossa
WINCANTON: 2.10 Fountains Windfall, 2.40 Driftwood Haze, 3.10 Orbasa, 3.40 Apple’s Queen, 4.10 Ruby Russet, 4.40 Chivers
FFOS LAS: 2.20 Bob Mahler, 2.50 DUELING BANJOS (NAP), 3.20 Fille Des Champs, 3.50 Alf ’N’ Dor, 4.20 Batavir, 4.50 Well Smitten
NEWCASTLE: 5.30 Out Of Order, 6.00 Foie Gras, 6.30 Sandstream, 7.00 Spititofhayton (nb), 7.30 Art Obsession, 8.00 Fiery Spice
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