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Tanya Stevenson

Tanya's Blog - 5th October 2011

Brush down the tweed, iron the cords - particularly the salmon pink ones - as it’s only nine days until Cheltenham opens its doors for the first time this season. Yesterday I made the journey to National Hunt’s hallowed turf for their press launch, arriving a bit late I managed to miss the double chocolate muffins, coffee and get in the way (walking right through the shot) of ’s hard-working cameraman Phil Clark! I was as subtle as an elephant during my late arrival but found what the Cheltenham executive had to say as uplifting.

Even stood in a desolate Cheltenham betting ring it gives you a buzz. I tried to do a rain dance to help Simon Claisse and his ground staff ahead of next week. I look out the office window and it has worked in London today, just hope it has worked for Cheltenham.

There are two National Hunt meetings today, Ludlow, which is live on , and Towcester. ALESANDRO MANTEGNA is part-owned by a friend of mine who works at Sandown Park racecourse. He plugged around Uttoxeter on his latest start to be beaten 25 lengths in third; you sense he is still building his confidence over the bigger obstacles. I know he has had a dozen chase races but one little error can knock the certainty of a horse aged six. Timmy Murphy has been on aboard on half of his chase races to date and he may well have suggested another try at this trip. He is well worth watching at 3.10.

I’m in awe of sprightly 15-year-old MARKED MAN in Towcester’s 4.50. His constant enthusiasm to remain competitive can only be admired and, with the help of Jake Greenall, he can visit the winner's enclosure today. Full marks to Richard Lee and I’ll be cheering from London and it will be heard all the way from Northampton if he jumps the last in contention.

On to Nottingham, and back to the Flat, where the battle between Paul Hanagan and Kieren Fallon for the Jockeys’ Title is fantastic and the pair fight it out in Nottingham’s 4.30. Kieren wore the Hunter Forward colours to victory aboard Quest For Peace on Saturday. She is back over a more suitable trip, not that 12 furlongs won’t be tackled again on better ground. With Kieren in determined mood, he is hard to oppose in many races now until November.


Frankie Dettori and Saeed Bin Suroor have a 48% strike rate at Nottingham

The last six runnings of Towcester’s 2.50 have been won by the first or second favourite

Kieren Fallon and Luca Cumani have teamed up for three winners from their last six runners

Frankie Dettori has had five winners, two seconds and two thirds from his last 14 rides

A P McCoy has had five winners from his last 13 rides

Signposts (page 20 in the Racing Post) is a must-read and today it flags up that West End Lad has won five times from his 11 races at Nottingham he tries for win number six at the course at 4.30


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