Cause Of Causes On Target for Racing Post Hurdle
Gordon Elliott’s improving four-year-old Cause Of Causes will bid to go one better in a valuable handicap hurdle when he lines up in the £100,000 Grade Three Racing Post Hurdle (2.50pm) at Cheltenham on the third and final day of The Open, this Sunday, November 18.
The son of Dynaformer was beaten a head by high-class hurdler Rebel Fitz in the prestigious Galway Hurdle in early August and bounced back from a disappointing effort at Perth later the same month with a half-length victory at Fairyhouse on November 7.
Elliott said: “Causes Of Causes definitely runs in the Racing Post Hurdle and Davy Condon will ride.
“He has come out of his win at Fairyhouse very well and he is in good nick so everything seems OK.
“It was his first run for a while at Fairyhouse and we thought he needed a gallop on grass somewhere so it worked out perfectly. Davy (Condon) didn’t knock him around and he has come out of it fine.
“He has run below form twice at Perth but every other run of his has been great and he goes to Cheltenham with a good, solid each way chance.”
Coral make Cause Of Causes, who is set to carry 11st, a 16/1 chance for the Racing Post Hurdle.
The 26 confirmations for the extended two-mile contest are headed by Nicky Henderson’s top-class hurdler Darlan (11st 12lb, 5/2 favourite with Paddy Power), who won a Grade Two at Aintree’s Grand National meeting in April, and Philip Hobbs’ lightly raced 10-year-old Snap Tie (11st 12lb, 16/1).
As well as Darlan, owner JP McManus is likely to represented by Jonjo O’Neill’s improving five-year-old It’s A Gimme (11st 1lb, 7/1), while Henderson also plans to saddle Irish Grade One scorer Cash And Go (11st 2lb, 6/1).
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls has three possible contenders including recent course and distance winner Dark Lover (10st 6lb, 12/1) and last weekend’s Grade Two Elite Hurdle runner-up Prospect Wells (11st 7lb, 12/1).
The eight Irish contenders going forward are headed by Cause Of Causes and Domination (10st 11lb, 9/1) from the yard of Charles Byrnes, who was last seen on the Flat when winning the Cesarewitch Trial at Newmarket in late September.
An exciting six-race card at Cheltenham on Sunday opens with the £25,000 Racing Post Arkle Trial Novices’ Chase (1.10pm, nine entries) over two miles. The Grade Two contest is likely to see a match up between Grade One winning novice hurdler Captain Conan and impressive novice chase scorers Sire De Grugy and Rebel Rebellion.
All eyes will be on the imperious Sprinter Sacre, successful in last season’s Grade One Racing Post Arkle Chase at The Festival, in the £50,000 Shloer Chase over two miles (2.20pm, eight entries).
High-class action continues with the £25,000 Grade Two Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (3.25pm) over an extended two and a half miles, with the 16 entries including Paul Nicholls’ Fox Run, who scooted home for a 14-length victory on his hurdling debut at Worcester in October.
The going at Cheltenham is currently Good to Soft, Good in places on the chase and hurdle courses and Good to Soft, Soft in places on the cross country course.
The forecast is for predominantly dry conditions until Friday evening, when between four and six millimetres of rain are predicted. It is then forecast to be mainly dry over the weekend.
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