Sunday service: Richard Forristal
Outsider to note: Requin
Denis O'Regan has a fine record for Victor Dartnall this term, riding five winners from just 15 rides for the west country trainer. At Exeter tomorrow the duo team up for three, with Requin the most interesting at big odds in the handicap chase.
The reason for the likely inflated price is that Requin is making his chasing debut against experienced opposition, but that is not overly worrying. Dartnall specialises in chasing sorts, and there are few better over a fence than O'Regan.
On hurdling form, Requin would make plenty appeal. Having won his final start last term, he returned to win at Exeter in December, before then running well off a pound-higher mark than tomorrow's 120. With luck in running, he can defy his odds now that he switches to fences.
Navan 2.50 -- Shinrock Paddy
Navan 3.20 -- Dantes King
Navan 3.50 -- Royal De La Thinte
Exeter 4.10 -- Requin
197,368 Jered's career earnings in euro. Noel Meade's nine-year-old, the highest-rated novice hurdler in 2008, died this week after a severe bout of colic.
20 Davy Condon's percentage (4/20) at Navan, where he has four rides tomorrow.
8 Garde Champetre's cross-country haul at Cheltenham and Punchestown following his win at the latter venue on Wednesday.
Quote of the week
"The weighing room is like a pub with no beer and in the old days you couldn't see across for cigarette smoke. It's a hilarious and very human place, although the language is horrendous. I get no end of stick about my age so I try to get in first by asking where the stairlift is when I walk in." -- Tipperary native Rodi Greene, who recently turned 41, on life in the jockeys' changing-room.
Three things we
learned this week
1 Few sports tread such a fine line between triumph and tragedy. At Dungarvan point-to-point last Tuesday week, Jack Tyner's penultimate ride saw him steer home the final leg of his father Robert's treble on the day. The teenager's sixth career winner was a landmark one as it meant that he no longer held novice status. Then disaster stuck, as a fall at the first fence in the next race ultimately cost him his life. His loss is sorely felt throughout the industry, and beyond.
2 You can't beat breeding. When the 13-year-old Eric's Charm scored at Sandown last Saturday, he emulated his brother Monkerhostin, which won the same race at the same age in 2010. The win was Monkerhostin's 12th, as it was for Eric's Charm, and both were returned at 20/1. Eric's Charm now goes for Sandown's Bet365 Gold Cup, the season finale that Monkerhostin won in 2008.
3 Nicky Henderson is on fire. Less than £200,000 off Paul Nicholls in the race for the trainers' title, Henderson won both the Champion Hurdle trials last Saturday with Oscar Whisky and Binocular. He now has seven separate ante-post favourites for Cheltenham, none of which is Long Run, the scintillating King George VI Chase winner. An embarrassment of riches.
Monday: Catterick, Plumpton, Wolverhampton (AW)
Tuesday: Folkestone, Newcastle, Southwell (AW)
Wednesday: Punchestown, Kempton* (AW), Leicester, Lingfield (AW), Musselburgh
Thursday: Clonmel, Ffos Las, Kelso, Southwell (AW), Wolverhampton* (AW)
Friday: Fakenham, Lingfield (AW), Sandown, Wolverhampton* (AW)
Saturday: Gowran Park, Ascot, Haydock, Lingfield (AW), Uttoxeter, Wincanton
Sunday: Naas, Kempton (AW), Market Rasen, Sedgefield