13:30 Cheltenham Fri 16 March 2018
Last Year's Winner
|Defi Du Seuil||4||11-0||5/2|
|T: P J HobbsJ: R Johnson|
Apple's Shakira (6/5), Stormy Ireland (9/2), Redicean (7/1), Mr Adjudicator (8/1), Farclas (9/1), Saldier (14/1), Sussex Ranger (28/1), Sayo (33/1), Gumball (40/1)
- Apple's Shakira
- Stormy Ireland
WHAT THE TRAINERS SAY
Nicky Henderson - Apple's Shakira: "She is great and she has been a lovely filly. She doesn't know there is another racecourse apart from Cheltenham. She won one race in France, which was hardly a Triumph Hurdle trial or anything, and she is very lazy at home. I did, however, enquire into Apple's Jade and what she was like, and they told me that she doesn't do a tap at home so that was all I wanted to hear.
"She has learnt to race and Barry (Geraghty) has been at pains to ensure that she has learned how to race. He has held her up in behind horses and last time, he jumped the second-last and didn't necessarily take a pull, but left her with some work to do. She came right away up the hill - the further she went, the better she was. She gets the allowance, she comes here unbeaten and I couldn't be happier with her."
Alan King - Redicean: "He has shown plenty of gears at home and on the track, so in that respect he reminds me a little bit of Penzance. I've not deliberately gone to Kempton every time, it was just how things panned out. He got a mile and six (furlongs) on the Flat at Redcar so I don't think stamina is an issue. I'd love to have seen better ground as I do think he is better on that. I think the more testing it is, the more it will favour Apple's Shakira. We are happy and I've no issue with the fact he has not been round the course."
Patrick Mullins - Mr Adjudicator, Stormy Ireland, Saldier and Sayo: "Stormy Ireland produced a huge performance in Fairyhouse and although that's her only run for us, she has plenty of experience from running in France. She's in good form and we're very happy with her. Mr Adjudicator has the best form and has travelled over well. He is an ex-Flat horse, though, so you would just wonder about how he'll handle the ground. Saldier won very well in Gowran. He obviously doesn't have much experience, but I just wonder whether the ground will help the less experienced horses like him. Sayo won in Naas despite not getting a clear run and we hope he can run well, too."
Gordon Elliott - Farclas: "I think he'll improve an awful lot from Leopardstown and I'm looking forward to running him."
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