Cheltenham Fancy Set For Hurdles Prep

Sun 10th Feb 2013, 10:34

Paul Webber is set to give Cantlow an outing over hurdles at Ascot on Saturday ahead of the Cheltenham Festival.

The Banbury trainer wants to give the eight-year-old a run before next month's big meeting but is keen to protect his handicap mark over fences.

Cantlow was third in last season's Pertemps Handicap Hurdle Final at the March jamboree and is towards the head of the ante-post betting for both the JLT Speciality Handicap Chase and the Byrne Group Plate.

"He's in great form and he goes to Ascot on Saturday over hurdles to preserve his chase mark of 143 at the Festival," said Webber.

"I don't know which race he will go for there. I know he's favourite for the JLT, but I can imagine him going for the two-mile five (Byrne Plate), what we called the Mildmay, instead, a race my father won. I can't say which race it will be yet."

Cantlow was last seen in winning action at Taunton in a novice chase a month ago.

Will there be another Irish winner at Aintree?

A lot has been said recently about the fact that the Irish contingent at Cheltenham tend to stoke up the fires of Anglo-Irish needle with their flag waving and chest beating due to our incredible success in recent years. As pointed out previously, this is nothing more than a bit of harmless fun that some folk on both sides of the Irish Sea take a little too seriously.

THE IRISH TIMES