Lambourn quartet prepare for day two of the Cheltenham Festival
Nicky Henderson, Jamie Snowden, Harry Whittington and Charlie Mann all have runners today (Wednesday)
WITH day two of the Cheltenham Festival upon us, there are a number of local trainers with runners today (Wednesday).
The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (13.20) kick starts the action, but the first race with local interest comes in the form of Dickie Diver, who runs in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase (13.55) for Seven Barrows trainer Nicky Henderson.
On his chances for the race, Henderson said: “He's only had one run and he has a lot on his plate, but he's got to go somewhere and he's a good horse too. He will like the ground, that's for sure.”
In the third race of the day, the Coral Cup (14.30), Henderson has a quartet of runners – including favourite Craigneiche.
As well as this, Janika, Monte Cristo and Birchdale also run for the Seven Barrows handler.
“Craigneiche and Monte Cristo both won their last starts very impressively, rather too impressively I'm afraid — I think they've rather done themselves in as they got 10lb and 12lb hikes.
“It's hard to win a Coral Cup if you expose yourself like that. Janika's always promised there's a good race in him one day somewhere, it could be here.
“Birchdale's been over fences and switches back, but he's been in good form.”
The Queen Mother Champion Chase (15.05) is the day’s featured race at Cheltenham with the Willie Mullins-trained Chacun Pour Soi heavily favourite to win.
Henderson earlier this week had to rule out Altior for this race, due to an unsatisfactory scope, but the Harry Whittington-trained Rouge Vif lines up in this.
“He had a bit of a break after Kempton, has been in good form of late and is good to go. I was a little bit disappointed that it hadn't dried out to good to soft on Tuesday, but another 24 hours is a long time at Cheltenham.
“Good to soft are his ideal conditions and I can't think there will be any excuses, but it's a tough race and we'd be delighted if he runs his race and finishes in the top five.”
The final two trainers from Lambourn, who have runners on day two, are Charlie Mann and Jamie Snowden.
Both Defi Des Carres (Mann) and Hogan’s Height (Snowden) run in the Glenfarcas Chase (Cross Country).
Mann, who trains Defi Des Carres, said: “He was robbed on the line over course and distance in December. He goes on any ground and is in good form.
“We sent him chasing but he's a cross-country horse and we've been waiting for the race.”
Meanwhile Snowden, about the chances for Hogan’s Height, said: “He bolted up in the Grand Sefton last year and took to these fences like a duck to water when we schooled him.
“He's got plenty of stamina and has a chance competing off level weights.”
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