Olofi On Song for Racing Post Hurdle
Trainer Tom George is hoping that Olofi can make it third time lucky in the £100,000 Racing Post Hurdle after the six-year-old was allotted 10st 7lb for the feature race of the third and final day of Cheltenham’s Open meeting on Sunday, November 18.
He subsequently fell when bang in contention at Newbury in December and was fifth in a valuable Grade Three handicap hurdle at the same course in February before ending his campaign with a disappointing effort in the Grade Three Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle at The Festival.
George revealed: “Olofi is set for the Racing Post Hurdle. I took him away to Lambourn on Tuesday morning to work him over a mile and a half on grass, just to give him a trip away, and he did a good, strong piece of work.
“He ran a very solid race last year - he won his race on the stands’ rail whereas Brampour came up the middle. He’s rated 136 now but he was competitive off the same mark last season - he fell at Newbury when he was going to run a big race and then his season fell apart.
“Everything went wrong at The Festival - he got a bad start, was badly hampered and I don’t think he was quite the same after he fell at Newbury, although he’s fine now. He has schooled over fences since he was three and we have chasing at the back of our minds with him.
“We always planned to give him one start over hurdles before going chasing and we hope that we have got him straight enough to do himself justice on his first start of the season.
“He could have easily been one of the high-profile horses of last season but things didn’t go his way and hopefully we can get him back on song.”
Raya Star (12/1 with Paddy Power) heads the weights for the Racing Post Hurdle with 11st 12lb following a game victory over It’s A Gimme (10st 11lb & 7/1) in a competitive handicap hurdle at Ascot on November 3.
Trainer Charles Byrnes is looking forward to seeing his talented dual-code performer Domination (10/1) return to hurdles at Cheltenham. The five-year-old was a comprehensive winner of a valuable Newmarket handicap on September 22 and had previously gone down by a nose to prolific winner Baily Green in a Killarney handicap hurdle on September 1.
Byrnes commented: “Domination is likely to run in the Racing Post Hurdle at The Open. He has been in good form since his run at Newmarket - we gave him a little break - and as long as the ground is good, he will probably take his chance.
“He won well at Newmarket but his run wasn’t too surprising because he was quite unlucky in Ireland on a few previous occasions and we were expecting him to run well.“The two and a quarter mile trip at Newmarket really suited him and the two miles at Cheltenham will probably be on the sharp side for him. I think two and a half miles is ideal for him over hurdles but you need to stay well to win these races.
Irish raider Moon Dice finished strongly to take fourth in last year’s renewal after encountering trouble in running.
He got off the mark over fences on his latest start at Cork on October 21, rallying strongly after the last fence to score by a neck.
“I wouldn’t say he was unlucky at Killarney but it has worked out to be a good race and the winner is a good horse. He is still lightly raced over hurdles but I don’t think that is a concern going to Cheltenham because he jumps well.”
Other entries include the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle fourth Kazlian (10st 7lb & 10/1), the lightly-raced Ranjaan (10st 12lb & 12/1) plus course and distance winner Dark Lover (10st 2lb &
THE RACING POST HURDLE
Class 1, Grade 3, £100,000 Total Prize Fund. 2.55pm, Cheltenham, Sunday, November 18, 2012. For 4yo+, 2m 110yds. Entries closed October 30, entries revealed October 31 (43 entries, 1 subsequently scratched), weights revealed November 7. Penalties: after November 4, a winner of a hurdle race 5lb (no penalty to increase a horse’s weight above 11st 12lb). Five-day confirmation stage November 13, final 48-hour declaration stage 10.00am, November 16. Form figures supplied by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including the racing of Monday, 2 October 29.
Form Horse Age Owner Trainer
31301-1 RAYA STAR (IRE) 6-11-12 Simon Munir Alan King
111F21- DARLAN 5-11-08 J P McManus Nicky Henderson
2306/1//1- SNAP TIE (IRE) 10-11-08 Diana Whateley Philip Hobbs
246-1 DODGING BULLETS 4-11-07 Martin Broughton & Friends Paul Nicholls
1123F-1 HINTERLAND (FR) 4-11-05 Chris Giles & Potensis Limited Paul Nicholls
214453- PROSPECT WELLS (FR) 7-11-03 Andrea & Graham Wylie Paul Nicholls
11/213- STAYING ARTICLE (IRE) 7-11-03 Thomas Barr Edward O'Grady IRE
50-0FF1 MOON DICE (IRE) 7-11-02 Three Friers Cross Syndicate Paul Flynn IRE
3134/30-0 STARLUCK (IRE) 7-11-01 Andrew Wates David Arbuthnot
435216- EDGARDO SOL (FR) 5-11-01 Axom XXXII Paul Nicholls
004/600//- BLUE BAJAN (IRE) 10-11-01 Dr John Hollowood David O'Meara
32111-B LEXI'S BOY (IRE) 4-10-13 Tim Leslie Donald McCain
0-20131 RATTAN (USA) 7-10-13 J A Coleman Willie Mullins IRE
4/31115- CASH AND GO (IRE) 5-10-12 Robin Geffen Nicky Henderson
2F11- RANJAAN (FR) 4-10-12 Highclere Thoroughbred Racing - Ranjaan Paul Nicholls
1411R-1 UNE ARTISTE (FR) 4-10-12 Simon Munir Nicky Henderson
2(5)220/-2 BOTHY 6-10-11 Dan Gilbert Brian Ellison
21210-2 IT'S A GIMME (IRE) 5-10-11 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill
52000-5 DESERT CRY (IRE) 6-10-10 NYPD Racing Donald McCain
1U145-2 ALASI 8-10-09 Shully Liebermann Paul Webber
31440-1 MALLER TREE 5-10-09 Favourites Racing Jessica Harrington IRE
6D1/21-2 DOMINATION 5-10-07 Patrick Wilmott/Ms C Cleary Charles Byrnes IRE
101-155 CONSTANT CONTACT 5-10-07 Delboy & Rodney Donald McCain
21140- KAZLIAN (FR) 4-10-07 Twelve Pipers Piping David Pipe
0/42F50- OLOFI (FR) 6-10-07 McNeill Family Tom George
2F131-P VENDOR (FR) 4-10-07 Thurloe 52 Alan King
5123-63 CONQUISTO 7-10-06 Phil Martin Steve Gollings
4-45023 ONE COOL SHABRA (IRE) 4-10-06 Rita Shah Oliver Brady IRE
2-10126 CAUSE OF CAUSES (USA) 4-10-05 Timeform Betfair Racing Club Ltd Gordon Elliott IRE
42100-0 TED SPREAD 5-10-03 False Nose 'n Glasses Partnership Paul Nicholls
25511-1 HI DANCER 9-10-02 R Tocher Ben Haslam
601U3P- GLAM GERRY (IRE) 8-10-02 Barry Connell Colm Murphy IRE
311426 CHANGING THE GUARD 6-10-02 BetterTipster.co.uk Dr Richard Newland
2/21(2)1/-1 DARK LOVER (GER) 7-10-02 Des Nichols & Peter Hart Paul Nicholls
F33511 HUNTERS BELT (IRE) 8-10-01 R A Fisher & John Blair George Bewley
160-FUF AKULA (IRE) 5-10-00 Jay Three Racing Mark Tompkins
04133///-1 KING OF QUEENS (IRE) 7-10-00 Ashley Scanlon Thomas Mullins
PP/1/-111 ALBERT HALL (USA) 7-9-09 Claudine Minier Arnaud Chaille-Chaille FR
32110-0 ILE DE RE (FR) 6-9-08 D Mead Donald McCain
F101-05 STAR OF ARAGON (IRE) 6-9-08 Holly's Buddies Syndicate James Nash IRE P004-30 GREY SOLDIER (IRE) 7-9-07 J O'Brien & Christian Leech Sophie Leech
043525 THE TIDDLY TADPOLE 7-9-04 The Frog Chorus Simon West
THE FOLLOWING HORSE HAS BEEN SCRATCHED: COTTON MILL
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