Turf Talk: Favourite Unowhatimeanharry bidding to make it nine wins on spin in Stayers’ Hurdle

Unowhatimeanharry, ridden by Barry Geraghty, clears an early flight before going on to win The JLT Long Walk Hurdle in December.
Unowhatimeanharry, ridden by Barry Geraghty, clears an early flight before going on to win The JLT Long Walk Hurdle in December.
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Unowhatimeanharry is one of 16 declarations for tomorrow’s Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Harry Fry’s inmate has won his last eight races and is likely to be sent on his way the hot favourite for the feature race on day three.

Sir AP McCoy unveils a statue of himself during Champion Day of the 2017 Cheltenham Festival. PIC: PA

Sir AP McCoy unveils a statue of himself during Champion Day of the 2017 Cheltenham Festival. PIC: PA

Cole Harden won the race two years ago and is back again for the Warren Greatrex team, with 2014 champion hurdler Jezki also involved.

The Jessica Harrington-trained Jezki is one of six Irish declarations for the Stayers’ Hurdle, with Willie Mullins responsible for Clondaw Warrior, Nichols Canyon and Shaneshill.

Snow Falcon (Noel Meade) and Dedigout (Gordon Elliott) have also made the journey across the Irish Sea.

Un De Sceaux, meanwhile, features in an eight-strong cast for tomorrow’s Ryanair Chase.

Willie Mullins’ nine-year-old is unbeaten this season and looked in especially good order when he accounted for Uxizandre in the rearranged Clarence House Chase at Cheltenham in January.

Uxizandre won the Ryanair Chase two years ago and will renew rivalry with Un De Sceaux on what will be just his second start since he provided Sir Anthony McCoy with his final Festival success in March 2015.

Empire Of Dirt (Gordon Elliott) and Sub Lieutenant (Henry de Bromhead) carry the Gigginstown House Stud silks of Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary.

Alary, Aso and the Nicky Henderson-trained duo of Josses Hill and Vaniteux are also involved.

l Sir Tony McCoy was left “very honoured and flattered” as a statue was put up in his honour at Cheltenham.

The bronze figure of the retired 20-times champion jockey, which was crafted by Dublin-based sculptor Paul Ferrier, was unveiled in front of racegoers in the Best Mate Plaza at Prestbury Park before racing began on Tuesday.

SOBOT’S SELECTIONS

CHELTENHAM: 1.30 Politlologue (next best), 2.10 Impulsive Star, 2.50 UXIZANDRE (NAP), 3.30 Unowhatimeanharry, 4.10 Road To Respect, 4.50 Airlie Beach, 5.30 Hadrian’s Approach.

CHELMSFORD: 5.45 Commanche, 6.15 Mighty Zip, 6.45 Celerity, 7.15 Just Us Two, 7.45 Katie Gale, 8.15 Intensical, 8.45 Hold Firm, 9.15 Royalistic.

HEXHAM: 1.45 Hurricane Rita, 2.25 Midnight Walk, 3.05 Joseph Mercer, 3.45 The Bishop, 4.25 Finaghy Ayr, 5.05 Floramoss, 5.40 Cougar Kid.

TOWCESTER: 1.20 Soulsaver, 1.55 Finish The Story, 2.35 Magic Dancer, 3.15 Comely, 3.55 Herbert Park, 4.35 Midnight Request, 5.15 Toby Lerone.

Might Bite wins the Mildmay Novices' Chase at Aintree in April.

Henderson: Ground is key for Bite