Turf Talk: Clyne suited to extended trip at Cheltenham

Clyne can reap the benefit of a promising seasonal reappearance by taking the Grade Two spoils in the Dornan Engineering Relkeel Hurdle at Cheltenham on New Year's Day.

Monday, 31st December 2018, 1:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 2:31 am
Defi Du Seuil ridden by Barry Geraghty at Cheltenham a couple of seasons ago. PIC: Julian Herbert/PA Wire

The Evan Williams-trained gelding had some smart horses behind him when finishing second to Unowhatimeanharry in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury.

That race was over three miles – but he is arguably at least as effective over this trip of an extended two and a half miles.

Clyne put up a fine display at this distance on his final outing last term when third behind L’Ami Serge and Supasundae in the Grade One Aintree Hurdle.

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This looks a good opportunity for Clyne to register the biggest success of his career to date.

Defi Du Seuil got back on track when opening his account over fences at Exeter at the second attempt four weeks ago and can carry on the good work in the Betbright Dipper Novices’ Chase.

Trained by Philip Hobbs, Defi Du Seuil put in a superb round of jumping when making all to land a comfortable victory over Topofthegame.

It was particularly pleasing for connections, as it was a big improvement on his first attempt at Cheltenham. He had obviously learnt a lot and the former champion juvenile hurdler could take high rank over fences.

Aso showed he was back in business when making a successful comeback after 13 months off the track to trot up in a Newbury handicap by 13 lengths.

Venetia Williams’ runner sticks to that company for the Download The Betbright Handicap Chase, but he has performed at the highest level, notably when third to Un De Sceaux in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Festival in March 2017.

Whatever has kept him off the course looks behind him now and he can continue to make up for lost time.

Ornate was a pretty classy sprinter in his pomp and there is every chance of him popping up again in the joint-feature at Southwell, the Betway Sprint Handicap.

The five-year-old is not quite the force he was, when his better efforts included finishing a length second to the top-notch Brando in the Abernant Stakes at Newmarket.

But there are races still to be won with him - and crucially he looks to have taken to the Fibresand surface at the Nottinghamshire circuit.

Custard The Dragon should go close in the other good race on the card, the Sunracing.Co.UK Handicap.

John Mackie’s six-year-old will be suited by the return to seven furlongs from the mile he faced here last time out, and is just 1lb higher than winning this contest 12 months ago.

And keep an eye on Global Melody in the Betway Casino Handicap, after Phil McEntee’s recent recruit from Ed Walker’s yard struck at the third time of asking for his new connections here before Christmas.

He did it nicely, too, and is open to further improvement at sprinting trips.

Eureu Du Boulay can complete a quickfire hat-trick in the Every Race Live On Racing TV Handicap Chase at Catterick.

Richard Hobson’s young jumper won over this two miles and three furlong trip two weeks ago and followed up at Sedgefield on Boxing Day.

He has to carry a 7lb penalty but is in such good form that he is hard to oppose.

At Musselburgh, Chica Buena can stretch her unbeaten run to four since joining Keith Dalgleish’s stable from Brendan Duke in Ireland.

The filly has been going from strength to strength and won by 23 lengths at Aintree last time out.

Know The Score can follow up his victory in a maiden event in the Thurlestone Hotel Handicap Hurdle at Exeter.

The David Pipe-trained gelding got off the mark over hurdles at Hexham recently and may eventually prove better than this grade.

He was thought good enough to win the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham after scoring at Towcester and looks to have been brought along steadily.

Kilrew Boy won at Fakenham two weeks ago on what was his third run over the smaller obstacles.

It is not surprising trainer Ben Case sends him back to the Norfolk track for the Sky Sports Racing On Sky 415 Handicap Hurdle.


CATTERICK: 12.25 Shantaluze, 1.00 The Herds Garden, 1.35 Top Ville Ben, 2.10 Lassana Angel, 2.45 Eureu Du Boulay, 3.20 Waltz Darling.

CHELTENHAM: 12.15 Anemoi, 12.50 Sir Mangan, 1.25 Defi Du Seuil (next best), 2.00 Aso, 2.35 Sykes, 3.10 CLYNE (NAP), 3.50 Book Of Invasions.

EXETER: 12.40 Alrightjack, 1.15 Know The Score, 1.50 Little Jack, 2.25 Thomas Crapper, 3.00 Air Horse One, 3.35 Keep Moving, 4.05 Kalooki.

FAKENHAM: 12.45 Blu Cavalier, 1.20 Apachee Prince, 1.55 Kilbrew Boy, 2.30 Paddys Runner, 3.05 Molly Carew, 3.40 Collooney.

MUSSELBURGH: 12.30 Liva, 1.05 Jet Master, 1.40 Knockgraffon, 2.15 Chica Buena, 2.50 Surf And Turf, 3.25 Elmono.

SOUTHWELL: 12.35 Jungle Secret, 1.10 Global Melody, 1.45 Ornate (treble), 2.20 Custard The Dragon, 2.55 Showboating, 3.30 Candesta.