Sport Horse Racing

Tuesday 16 January 2018

In brief: Lifetime takes Supreme path

The highly-rated Day Of A Lifetime, which has the choice of two engagements at the Festival, will take his chance in the Supreme Novices Hurdle for Willie Mullins.

The son of King's Theatre was billed as the main Mullins Champion Bumper hope last season, and is rated as a 20/1 shot for the Festival opener.

If you go back to his first ever run, he beat Jessica Harrington's Oscars Well at Fairyhouse. That horse has, of course, gone on to dual Grade One success over hurdles and is the favourite for the Neptune Hurdle on Wednesday week.

Ruby not sure

of Fly mount

Ruby Walsh is unsure if he will be riding Hurricane Fly in the Stan James Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham on Tuesday week.

Willie Mullins' multiple Grade One winner has looked imperious this season and finally looks set to get to Cheltenham.

In Walsh's absence, Paul Townend has partnered Hurricane Fly to great effect and a decision on who rides him in the Champion Hurdle will be up to the owners. "It's a decision for the owners who rides Hurricane Fly," said Walsh.

"I ride Quevega, Big Buck's, Master Minded and Kauto Star and after that I haven't looked at the rest of them."

Fenton happy

with Dunguib

Philip Fenton is happy with Dunguib as his pride and joy builds up towards a crack at the Stan James Champion Hurdle.

The Tipperary trainer reports the eight-year-old to be all the better for his comeback win at Gowran Park last month after being off the racetrack since April.

"Everything is fine, it's so far so good and we're not far away from it now. I couldn't be happier with him. All has gone to plan. He's come out of his Gowran race very well and all roads lead to Cheltenham," said Fenton.

"He did a bit of work on Wednesday and we were very pleased. He'll possibly do a bit next Wednesday as well and that will be that."

Arrayan on bonus trail

David Pipe has highlighted Arrayan as his most likely horse to target the Imperial Cup/Win at the Festival bonus. The Pipes have taken the Sandown race six times in the last 13 runnings.

Arrayan was very unlucky on his previous run in a handicap hurdle at Taunton when his rider Conor Farrell's foot slipped out of the irons before the last, which resulted in him being unseated with the race at his mercy. He has either the County Hurdle or the Martin Pipe Hurdle at the Festival as options.

As the Festival handicaps begin to take shape, it looks as though the stable's smart handicapper Junior will take his chance in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase.

His form behind Gold Cup contender Midnight Chase in a three-mile-three-furlong handicap chase at Cheltenham back in November appears to be swaying the Pipe team not to go back over hurdles in the Pertemps Final.

Bensalem off similar mark

Alan King's Bensalem is heading for the Stewart Family Spinal Research Handicap Chase (formerly known as the William Hill Chase). The son of Turtle Island looks like he has been trained for this race all season and has had two nice runs over hurdles.

He actually gets into this race off the same mark he raced off in last year's renewal, when he came down when travelling really well at the second last.

Race against time for Jonjo

Trainer Jonjo O'Neill is in a race against time to get Get Me Out Of Here fit in time for the Festival after identifying a wind problem as the cause of the gelding's below-par performances this season.

Last year's Supreme Novice second behind Menorah was being aimed at a tilt at the County Hurdle after an improved mid-division finish in the Totesport Trophy at Newbury last month.

Ronan Groome

Sunday Indo Sport

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